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"It’s no secret that it’s been a while since my last win and of course this victory is important to me. I’ve been through a series of injuries but this confirms that I’m back on track and in excellent shape,&quo...

Photo: Tinkoff-Saxo

MATTI BRESCHEL

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TOUR DE LUXEMBOURG

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06.06.2014 @ 19:14 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Matti Breschel has had a couple of injury-plagued seasons and saw his classics campaign come to nothing due to a crash in the build-up and another one in the Tour of Flanders. Today he recommended himself for the Tinkoff-Saxo Tour de France roster by winning the second stage of the Tour de Luxembourg and is pleased to confirm that he is now in excellent condition.

 

Today’s 157.4 kilometer long second stage of Tour de Luxembourg from Rosport to Schifflange was dominated by a breakaway consisting of Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA/MTN-Qhubeka), Boris Dron (B/Wallonie-Bruxelles), Juan Esteban Arango (COL/Colombia) and Ilnur Zakarin (RUS/Rusvelo).

 

In the field, Trek Factory Cycling took the responsibility of reducing the lead but with 8 kilometres to go, the front group still had a gap of 40 seconds. A late acceleration saw the escapees getting swept up before entering the one kilometer long uphill finish. Tinkoff-Saxo and Lotto-Belisol were the most dominant teams in the front of the pack trying to position their sprinters perfectly before the ramp to the finish line.

 

In the uphill sprint, Tinkoff-Saxo’s Matti Breschel was merciless and took an impressive stage win.

 

“It was a big day for the whole team," he said. "We worked hard in the front of the pack and intensively towards the finale as we found out the Russian TT champion was going into time trial mode in the front group and we had a hard time catching him so we sacrificed a few guys to get him.

 

"The first 600 meters of the uphill finish rose with an average gradient of 17% and I simply opened the sprint from the start of the climb and no one was able to catch me again.

 

"It’s no secret that it’s been a while since my last win and of course this victory is important to me. I’ve been through a series of injuries but this confirms that I’m back on track and in excellent shape.

 

"Now, we can’t lose focus. Michael [Mørkøv] is second overall and the remaining two stages are very hard but we’re going for the overall win as well."

 

“The boys executed our plan to utter perfection," sports director Fabrizio Guidi said. "Trek took control of the pace-making in the first part of the stage as the leading team and we went to the front rolling under the ten kilometer kite to sweep up the escapees and put Michael (Mørkøv) and Matti in a favorable position.

 

"Matti showed what he’s capable of when he reaches peak shape and he was simply the strongest of all today. At the same time, Mørkøv finished 5thand is now 2nd overall. That means we’re also fighting the overall result so of course we’ll celebrate the stage win but there’s another day tomorrow and we have to fight to get the lead."

 

Jean-Pierre Drucker (Wanty) now leads the race overall.

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