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"We suffered a lot because when you get a bad start, you spend more energy than you need. I lost more today than in the first 8 stages of the Tour. We were not expecting this, not in our wildest dreams."

Photo: A.S.O.






12.07.2015 @ 22:33 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The team time trial is a beautiful thing to watch, but make no mistake that it’s a difficult and demanding part of professional cycling. The 28 km course from Vannes to Plumelec, ending atop the 1,7 km Côte de Cadoudal, proved challenging for the seven Team Katusha riders on course for stage nine, but the high mountains of the Pyrénées are coming up next and the team will re-focus and look forward to the second full week of racing after a disappointing day in the time trial.


"This really wasn’t a good day for us. We lost a lot of time on the TT, more than we expected to see, and for the GC the time is important. Now we head into the high mountains and we still have the belief that we can achieve our goals with Joaquim. With only seven riders today in the TTT instead of the full nine, you feel it for sure. Today after 8 km we lost two more riders and you have to arrive at the finish with five, so we just had to regulate our speed to not lose anyone. We need to improve on this as we feel our place as a team should always be in the top ten," said team director José Azevedo.


"Of course the balance is negative," Rodriguez said. "We suffered a lot because when you get a bad start, you spend more energy than you need. I lost more today than in the first 8 stages of the Tour. We were not expecting this, not in our wildest dreams.


"We have a win, I feel great, and except for the first day with the crash, the puncture and time loss, the only day of surprises was today.


"I'm fine so I try not to go crazy because the Tour is very hard and we have the experience of 2013 where we managed to reach our goals. We'll see how the Pyrenees go."


The team was well down in the stage standings at nineteenth place. 


Team Sky with the yellow jersey of Chris Froome and reigning world team time trial champions BMC were neck-and-neck at each of the three time checks. At 10 km they were on the same time with Sky pulling ahead by 1-second at the second time check of 20,5 km. By the third check Sky was leading by 5 seconds but at the finish line, where the time really counts, BMC earned the victory by 1-second to Team Sky with a time of 32.15. Third place went to Movistar at four-seconds behind the winners.


Going into the first rest day 2013 Tour champion Chris Froome holds the yellow jersey by 12- and 27-seconds to BMC teammates Tejay van Garderen and Greg Van Avermaet. Joaquim Rodriguez currently holds 18th place at 3.52 with twelve stages of racing and all the high mountains still to come. 


The peloton fly south to Pau for the first rest day and resume racing on Tuesday. Stage 10 is 167 km from Tarbes to La Pierre-Saint-Martin in the Pyrénées. The final ascent is demanding and the general classification riders will fight for victory on the very steep Col de Soudet in this mountain stage. 



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