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"I needed to put my mark on the race a little bit. It’s my first and last and only race in Germany for my last season so I felt obliged to go out and give everyone what they expect of me," Voigt says

Photo: Sirotti


31.05.2014 @ 11:22 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

This week Jens Voigt is riding his final race in Germany and the German has planned to say a proper goodbye to his home crowd in the Bayern Rundfahrt. Yesterday he launched one of his trademark attacks in the third stage and was caught just 2km from the line.


After a flat opening day followed by a punishing hilly stage, day three of the Tour of Bavaria was ripe for a breakaway.  However, it was not until 50 kilometers had been raced that four men absconded – and in their midst was none other than breakaway specialist Jens Voigt racing his first and only race in Germany in his final season.


“There were a lot of attacks, and the boys covered all of them until the break finally went," he said. We were hoping for a bigger group, with maybe six or seven so we would stand a better chance at making it. First it was two and two, but it was better to wait so we had four together, so we did. 


"We quickly gained over seven minutes and it was clear we would be out there all day long. Then it was a question of timing, a bit of luck, and having good legs in the end in order to trick the sprinter teams and make it.”


It was a long, rolling 233.5-kilometer stage that finished on three local circuits. Jens Voigt attacked his breakaway companions with 30 kilometers left, splitting the group into pairs again. On the next significant climb he dropped the last remnant of the breakaway and set off alone. It was quintessential ‘Jensie'.


“IAM Cycling never showed a lot of interest in closing it. It was the other teams like Katusha, Orica that joined in the chase with 30k to go. Kim [Andersen] was there in the car and we decided it was best to go early, and not wait until the last bit.


"I had one rider that went with me but was dropped on the next uphill. If he had come with me to the finish line he probably would have beaten me in the sprint by a bike length.”


In the final 10 kilometers it was 'touch and go' whether Jens could hold off the pursuing peloton. Jens was finally caught on a sharp uphill mountain sprint climb with three kilometers remaining.


“I gave it my all once I was alone. On the very last lap when I crossed the line I thought, ‘okay, lets be realistic Jens, it’s probably not gonna happen’.  But then a little later I thought, ‘yep, yep, yep, I can make it! It’s still 50-50’.  Really the chances for a breakaway are never the best, but, hey, better one chance than no chance, right?”


An immediate counterattack by Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge) opened a huge gap. The reaction was too late: Impey powered to the line to just hold off the peloton and steal the win. Jens Voigt finished in the same time with the rest of the Trek Factory Racing team and the peloton. He was awarded the most agressive rider for the stage.


“I had been given race number one so today was a day to at least try and show myself and try to ride like a number one. I needed to put my mark on the race a little bit. It’s my first and last and only race in Germany for my last season so I felt obliged to go out and give everyone what they expect of me. I had to live up to the expectations of ‘shut up legs’ at least once here. I didn’t win but I gave it a good shot.


“In the last 25k I was thinking this is the same as ever, me against the world, with the whole peloton chasing – this just never gets old for me! In other words, I never will be too old to try again.”



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