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“Unfortunately I didn’t have a good day today. With 10 km to go I felt just fine, but then with 8 km to go I had a hunger bonk and it was too late to eat."

Photo: Team Katusha

JOAQUIM RODRIGUEZ OLIVER

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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14.07.2015 @ 21:50 Posted by Andy Pedersen

It was Bastille Day in France today but the fireworks were all being lit by yellow jersey Chris Froome on the first high mountain stage in the 102nd Tour de France on Tuesday. Froome set up a blistering attack with 6 km to go and never looked back to see the devastation he left all down the climb to Saint-Martin, finishing 59-seconds ahead of Sly teammate Richie Porte. 

 

Froome put time into every single pre-race favorite and widened his margin at the top from 12-seconds to 2.52 over Tejay van Garderen of BMC. Third place on the stage went to Nairo Quintana (Movistar) at +1.04 behind the yellow jersey. Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez wasn’t on form for the first day of climbing and lost more than six minutes on the stage but will have more opportunities in the mountains in the days to come.

 

“Unfortunately I didn’t have a good day today. With 10 km to go I felt just fine, but then with 8 km to go I had a hunger bonk and it was too late to eat,” said Katusha team leader Joaquim Rodriguez to the Katusha website.

 

“We lost six minutes today but with such a dominating performance by Froome maybe you would say the Tour de France is already over today, especially when you look at the results of Froome’s teammates Porte and Thomas – all three of them in the top six,” said team director José Azevedo.

 

“Froome’s margin is so big at well over two minutes, but this was the first big mountain stage and it’s the Tour de France so things can happen. When I came up to Joaquim, I saw on his face he was really suffering and there was no time to re-supply the body since it was all uphill with no downhill in which to recover. It was impossible, but this was only the first mountain stage. There are six more and this was the easiest! So we will see if the gaps keep growing or if in the next days Joaquim can be part of the action and move up on the GC. The goal now will be to go day-by-day, perhaps move up on the GC and try to win stages."

 

Rodriguez is currently in 16th place at 10.09. 

 

Stage 10 was a return to racing after the rest day and the first day in the Pyrénées. The 167 km stage began in Tarbes and featured a 2-man breakaway that held more than fourteen minutes before the start of the climb. But once the pitch started to go up, the break was re-absorbed and all the action came from the GC riders. 

 

The first attack from Froome’s group came from Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) who lobbed the first bomb at 8 km to shake up the action for his teammate Nairo Quintana, luring Froome’s teammates into a chase that proved to be more successful for the British rider than anyone else.  When Froome himself accelerated away at 6,3 km, Quintana was able to stay close for a time, but eventually lost contact and was forced to set his own pace to the finish line. Froome’s helper and teammate Richie Porte recovered enough from earlier efforts to set his sights on Quintana and reel him back in, passing him in the closing meters to make it a 1-2 finish for Team Sky.

 

More climbing comes in Wednesday’s stage 11. The stage begins in Pau and ends in Cauterets - Vallée de Saint-Savin at 188 km. Along the way are the well-known and often dreaded Col d'Aspin and the Tourmalet.

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