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"On the last climb, Rui Costa was the strongest for sure. I was not able to follow him on the ascent and I just managed to catch riders behind him. We did what we could to move as close as possible at the top in order to catch him on t...

Photo: Crosnier-Lemaitre-Curutchet / KMSP








17.07.2013 @ 08:19 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

So far the Tour de France has been a disappointment for French cycling. With 5 stages to go, no French rider has succeeded in snatching a stage win. Christophe Riblon (AG2R) came close Tuesday as he finished 2nd on the 16th stage from Vaison-la-Romaine to Gap.


Riblon was once again present in the breakaway with his teammate Blel Kadri. The stage win was decided on the last climb when Rui Costa (Movistar) attacked and proved irresistible. Christophe Riblon and the last survivors of the breakaway tried to claw their way back to the Portuguese on the descent but in vain.


“I missed 40’’ to win but I don’t think I can have any regrets,” Riblon said. “It was difficult today to break away from the bunch and I was there. On the last climb, Rui Costa was the strongest for sure. I was not able to follow him on the ascent and I just managed to catch riders behind him. We did what we could to move as close as possible at the top in order to catch him on the descent, without success. I finished second and, honestly, I think this is the best result I could obtain today with Rui Costa present in the break because he was really the strongest. My friend Blel (Kadri) was at my side at the front and he did a great job for me. He attacked where we had planned, others riders had to ride behind him and it allowed me to rest before the final climb. Hats off to him, one day Lady Luck will smile on him too.”


Jean-Christophe Péraud finished 12’08” behind Rui Costa but he retains his 9th rank overall.


“I didn’t manage to be in the yellow jersey group but I have no regrets because the riders of this group are all already in front of me in the overall standings,” Péraud commented. “It was more a close marking race than anything else. I was in a group with riders between 7th and 10th overall, it was racing at every level! I did my best and I’m not disappointed.”



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