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"It was a disaster. We've had everything against us. First it was a puncture and when I got back to the group, I was involved in two crashes I've hit the elbow, hip and knee, which is what worries me right now."

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JOAQUIM RODRIGUEZ OLIVER

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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05.07.2015 @ 22:12 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Stage 2 in the 2015 Tour de France has long been predicted to be difficult and challenging and with today’s wind and rain playing a major part in the road action, the 166 km course from Utrecht to Neeltje Jans lived up to all expectations. Team Katusha was on the receiving end of some bad luck but live to fight another day. 

 

"This wasn’t the day we had hoped for. We knew it would be a dangerous stage with the wind and all of the roundabouts along the way. One crash from Lotto NL-Jumbo in the middle of the peloton after the feed zone really split the peloton. Originally we had Alexander Kristoff and Jacopo Guarnieri in the front group for the sprint, but another crash came, this time splitting with Nibali so Kristoff lost his position in that moment. Later Joaquim Rodriguez was with Nibali and Nairo Quintana and we tried to chase back with other teams, but it was not possible and everyone lost a lot of time, almost a minute and a half. And then finally with about 10 km to go we were involved in another crash in a roundabout, this time with Machado, Joaquim and Losada. They are ok but it was a difficult," said team directorJosé Azevedo.

 

"It was a disaster. We've had everything against us. First it was a puncture and when I got back to the group, I was involved in two crashes I've hit the elbow, hip and knee, which is what worries me right now," said Rodriguez.

 

"Right now, what worries me is not the time loss. There is a lot of racing left and what happened to us today can happen to another tomorrow. The only thing that worries me is how I will wake up tomorrow and how my knee will evolve. If I am not injured, there is much time to gain back lost ground. I have been eager to do something important and if I am not injured, I will continue to fight.

 

With the peloton split in groups, a reduced sprint at the finish line saw Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) take his 7th career Tour stage win with a finish time of 3:29.03 and earning his first green jersey in the points competition. Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Fabian Cancellara of Trek Factory Racing challenged for the win, with Cancellara taking the yellow jersey in the process. Courtesy of the time bonus for third place, Cancellara now leads by 3-seconds to Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick Step) and 6-seconds to Tom Dumoulin of Team Giant-Alpecin.

 

Coming in with the front group were general classification contenders Alberto Contador of Tinkoff-Saxo and Chris Froome of Team Sky, but losing 1.28 were Team Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez, defending champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Nairo Quintana of Movistar, all part of a large second group on the road.

 

"We cannot dwell on these things – the bad luck could not be controlled and we can’t keep thinking about what happened today. Tomorrow we start again and we know Alex will have more opportunities to win. Joaquim lost time to Froome and Contador and it’s a big chunk of time, almost 2 minutes to GC contenders now after the time trial, but there are so many climbing days in later stages plus more dangerous days like today. We’ll focus on each day and keep trying our best," concluded directorAzevedo. 

 

Monday’s stage 3 brings some Spring classics action to the Tour de France. The 159,5 km route begins in Antwerp, Belgium with the final circuit the identical one used in Flèche Wallonne, finishing with the 1,1 km climb of the Mur de Huy. Those who missed out today might strike out early at the foot of the climb to gain back precious seconds as the three-week grand tour rolls on.   

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