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“It’s a huge loss. David would have been very important, especially for the mountain stages and the next couple of days,” Poitschke says






17.07.2014 @ 23:59 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

David De La Cruz was the central figure in one of the most dramatic episodes of stage 12 of the Tour de France when he crashed hard while riding in the breakaway. Unfortunately, he left the race with a broken collarbone which leaves Leopold König without an important domestique in the mountains.


A black day for Team NetApp – Endura during the 12th stage of the Tour de France: After crashing and breaking his collarbone, Spanish rider David de la Cruz Melgarejo had to withdraw from the rest of the Tour, leaving the German team without one of its most important riders.


“It’s a huge loss. David would have been very important, especially for the mountain stages and the next couple of days,” according to Enrico Poitschke, Team NetApp – Endura’s sport director in France. “Today, David showed just how keen he is. This withdrawal is really too bad – for himself and also for the entire team.”


At first, the stage from Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint-Etienne went perfectly for Team NetApp – Endura. After around 10 kilometers, de la Cruz was part of the breakaway group of the day and was delivering a strong and aggressive performance.


“The goal today was to get into the group and David managed to do exactly that. There were some good riders in the group and it gained a lot of distance. David was feeling well, so many things would have been possible today,” said Poitschke.


However, a good 90 kilometers before the finish line, all the hopes for the 25-year-old Spaniard and his team were crushed due to a downhill crash. 


“We still don’t know what the exact cause of the crash was, only the result. David was taken directly to the nearest hospital for further examination,” Poitschke added. 


Leopold König, Team NetApp – Endura’s general classification rider, crossed the finish line with the main group, posting the same time as the winner.


“Leo always stayed out front, and the team did a good job supporting him so that the stage wouldn't take too much out him," Enrico Poitschke stated, emphasizing the positive part of the day.


“We now have to see what the next days will bring and in which direction the trend will go in the general classification.”


König moved up at least one spot today as well. After 12 stages, the 26-year-old Czech rider is now in 19th place overall.


After 185.5 kilometers and 4:32:11 hours, the win in Saint-Etienne was claimed by Norwegian rider Alexander Kristoff from Team Katusha. He beat out Cannondale pro Peter Sagan from Slovakia and French rider Arnaud Démare, who rides for Equipe FDJ.


Tomorrow’s 13th stage of the Tour de France will take the pros remaining in the race into the Alps. The second climbing finish of this year's Tour awaits at 1,730 meters above sea level at the end of the 197.5 kilometers from Saint-Etienne to Chamrousse.


“After the Vosges, it will be yet another really difficult stage,” said Enrico Poitschke. “Of course, we’ll try to get Leo in good position for the finale and do our best to protect him, as long as possible, and then in the end, of course, he will have to get himself up the mountain and then we’ll see what’s possible.”



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