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"I made it to 1500 meters to go.  All I needed was some little moment of hesitation from the guys in the back or some little distraction.  It was close.  So for me when people say it’s crazy or stupid to try someth...

Photo: ASO




11.06.2013 @ 20:19 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Jens Voigt (Radioshack) made one of his trademark attacks in today's fourth stage of the Tour de Suisse, joining an early three-man move, and surviving until 1500m from the finish line. Tired from today's efforts, the veteran German had once again enjoyed hurting his colleagues and had believed in his slim chances for success.


If anyone thought that 41-year old Jens Voigt had slowed down, they had to change their mind after his splendid performance in the recent Tour of California where he took a stage win on a hard day with plenty of crosswinds. Today he once again proved that he is still going strong with an impressive show of strength in the fourth stage of the Tour de Suisse.


Having joined an early 3-man move, the veteran dropped his final companion Robert Vrecer (Euskaltel) with 5 kilometers to go and for a moment he managed to single-handedly stabilize his 20 second gap on a WorldTour peloton in full pursuit. The Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Cannondale and Argos-Shimano team had all used up all their firepower and it was not until Saxo-Tinkoff and Orica-GreenEdge joined the chase that the German finally had to give up.


With 1500m still to go, it was all over for Voigt and the stage ended in the expected bunch sprint, won by Arnaud Demare. At a first glance, the attack appeared to be suicidal as the stage was rather flat and tailor-made to the sprinters but the Radioshack rider underlined his racing philosophy as he has done so often before.


“I’m tired now but so happy that I went out there to try my chances," he said. "As I’ve said a million times, I’m not a top sprinter or climber so when I try to win it has to come from a long way out. If we had ever been able to get six or seven minutes on the group, we could have succeeded but they kept it at four minutes which means they don’t trust that they can catch me. I knew after 30-40 kilometers that the chances were slim that we could stay away but I just like those little chances. Once you’ve started, you might as well stick with it until the bitter end." 


"I always figure if it’s hurting me, then it’s hurting them at least as much if not more. I made it to 1500 meters to go.  All I needed was some little moment of hesitation from the guys in the back or some little distraction.  It was close.  So for me when people say it’s crazy or stupid to try something, that’s when I go.”


The final part of the stage had been extremely fast with high speeds on the flat roads on the run-in to the finish in Buochs. Vrecer who started his ProTeam career prior to this season, did all he could to stay with Voigt but had to let him go towards the end. Nonetheless, the German enjoyed his cooperation with the Slovenian.


“It was flat the end and we were really flying," he said. "I was at 50-55kph at the end and I was in the 11. I put my head down and let it all out.  We were encouraging each other and sharing information. He had some good punch but after the long distance he was cooked. It was a hard race even though the profile didn’t make it look that way. It was fast and a hard day. I’m looking forward to my massage now.”


With today's performance, Voigt should have a solid chance of making it into the Radioshack line-up for the Tour. He will get another chance to convince the selectors in tomorrow's fifth stage which once again should be one for the sprinters. And hence possibly also one for the 41-year old German.


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