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“Against Froome it’s Contador and Nibali. They aren’t allies, but they aren’t enemies and they both want the only first place available.

Photo: Sirotti










12.06.2014 @ 18:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Astana and Tinkoff-Saxo combined forces to put Sky and race leader Chris Froome under pressure in today's stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné. Even though the pair aren't allies, Astana rider Andrey Zeits says that they aren't enemies either.


Today's stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné was expected to be a calm affair for the GC riders but it turned out to be completely different. Alberto Contador kicked off the action when he launched a surprise attack on a descent and he put the Sky team of race leader Chris Froome under pressure.


While Contador was up the road, the Astana team of Vincenzo Nibali could safely hide itself in the peloton. Teammates Jakob Fuglsang, Tanel Kangert and Nibali, together with Andrey Zeits, all went up the penultimate climb together, following a very fast pace set by the team of race leader Chris Froome to catch Alberto Contador.


Once Contador was caught, first Kangert, then Fuglsang and finally Nibali himself all went on the attack, placing further pressure on Froome to chase. In the end there was little change to the Top-10, with Astana still the best team on General Classification and three hot, hard and exhausting stages to go.


The stage proved that Astana and Tinkoff-Saxo can put Sky under pressure if the combine forces and Zeits admits that the two teams aren't exactly riding against each other.


“Against Froome it’s Contador and Nibali," he said. "They aren’t allies, but they aren’t enemies and they both want the only first place available.


“We have come five stages - 700-800km. I can feel the fatigue, and my legs aren’t as fresh as they were the first days but after about an hour of racing I get used to it, and I can do my job to help Nibali and help the team."


Teammates Andrei Grivko, Dmitriy Gruzdev and Zeits were all involved in a massive early crash on stage five, but all escaped unharmed and were able to return to the peloton safely.



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