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"We know that you can't become a pavé specialist in a day but it's about getting a feel for it"

Photo: Sirotti

ANDRIY GRIVKO

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ASTANA - PREMIER TECH

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JAKOB FUGLSANG

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LIEUWE WESTRA

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TANEL KANGERT

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VINCENZO NIBALI

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19.04.2014 @ 12:21 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Vincenzo Nibali followed fellow Tour de France overall contender Alberto Contador’s lead on Thursday by testing himself on various cobbled sectors that will appear during stage 5 of this year’s Tour de France.

 

He rode with some of the riders who will help the Italian on the Astana team try to win his maiden Tour title such as Jakob Fuglsang, Tanel Kangert, Andriy Grivko and Lieuwe Westra, along with help from Peter van Petegem, a winner of Paris-Roubaix.

 

In addition to Nibali testing himself on the cobbles, he tested the equipment that his team’s provider Specialized will give for the Tour to make sure it is up to scratch.

 

"It's going to be a very difficult stage of the Tour de France," Nibali told l'Equipe after studying several of the nine sectors of pavé that will feature in the finale of stage five from Ypres to Arenberg.

 

"When it comes to the material and experience, it's about being a specialist. It's something new for me to ride on sectors of pavé like that. It'll be important to have the right bike set-up, learn thing about the pave and hope that everything goes okay…"

 

"For sure that you can lose the Tour de France here. All it takes is a crash or a mechanical problem and you can rapidly lose 30 seconds or a minute."

 

DS Giuseppe Martinelli was the man following the riders from behind in the team car and he highlighted his belief in the importance on riding the cobbles before the big day.

 

"We know that you can't become a pavé specialist in a day but it's about getting a feel for it," he explained.

 

"It'll be a day of stress for him, perhaps even more than for the others at the Tour de France. We'll try to learn as much as we can and train for a second time on the pavé tomorrow (Friday)."

 

Without a doubt the 2014 Tour will not be won on the Cobbles but it may well be lost.

 

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