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"I am in very good shape these days, but after the break yesterday  I planned to take an easy day. My team also told me to take it easy. On the first climb, I felt fine, so I joined the break," Westra says

Photo: Sirotti






14.06.2014 @ 19:18 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

24 hours after his disappoitning defeat in the sixth stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné, Lieuwe Westra bounced back in the best possible way by winning the queen stage in amazing fashion. After yesterday's hard work, he had planned to take a rest day but as his legs still felt good, he changed his mind and came away with the win.


Already from the very start of the Criterium du Dauphiné, Lieuwe Westra has clearly proved that he is in excellent condition. Always on the attack and constantly doing an amazig job to protect his leads, the Dutchman has been a very prominent figure in the mountainous race.


Yesterday he was hugely disappointed after he had been beaten into second by Jan Bakelants in the sixth stage of the race and he had lamented the lost opportunity as his Astana team is in much need of a victory. Due to his hard efforts, he had planned an easy day in today's queen stage but apparently his legs are so good that he couldn't resist the temptation to go on the attack.


On the first climb of the day, he found himself in a 14-rider group but it seemed that he again had to settle for a minor position when the Katusha pair of Egor Silin and Yury Trofimov escaped on the penultimate climb. However, he continued to believe in his chances and the TT specialist time trialed his way up the final mountain to catch his rivals just 200m from the line.


"I am in very good shape these days, but after the break yesterday  I planned to take an easy day," he said. "My team also told me to take it easy. On the first climb, I felt fine, so I joined the break. 


"On the final climb, I preferred to climb at my own pace. I saw that the Katusha riders were not far ahead. Always 20 or 30. seconds. So in the last 500 meters, I gave absolutely everything, and I came back 200 meters from the finish line. It's crazy.”


The win is his second since joining Astana for this season after he won the final stage of the Volta a Catalunya. Heading into the Tour de France where he will be supporting Vincenzo Nibali, he is pleased to exploit his personal opportunities maximally.


"I'm really happy with these two victories," he said. "It's good for me and I think it is also good for the team. In any case I show that I'm in good shape for the Tour de France where I will give everything for Vincenzo Nibali. I have maybe four or five chances to win per year. The Dauphine was one as I had a pretty free role."


His leader Nibali finished the stage in 8th and remained in 6th in the overall standings.



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