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“I am satisfied with this 15th place.  In fact, I suffered from the effort I had to make in order to get back to the group after puncturing over the côte d’Ahin," Frank says

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FLECHE WALLONNE

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MATHIAS FRANK

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24.04.2014 @ 11:40 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having already won the queen stage of the Criterium International, it is no secret that Mathias Frank is in great form at the moment. Yesterday he marked himself out as a dark horse for Liege-Bastogne-Liege when he battled back from an untimely puncture to finish in the top 15 at Fleche Wallonne.

 

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) showed everyone his strength at the top of the Mur d’Huy to win the La Flèche Wallonne.  Mathias Frank gave a distinguished performance by taking 15th place, in spite of the fact he punctured with barely 30 kilometers to go to the finish. 
 
The rider from Lucerne who lives outside of Basel on the Swiss border with France, thanked all his teammates for their hard work.  He also promised that he is on form for a good performance this coming Sunday at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and then also for the Tour of Romandie. 
 
“I am satisfied with this 15th place.  In fact, I suffered from the effort I had to make in order to get back to the group after puncturing over the côte d’Ahin.  Gustav Larsson stopped to give me his wheel and I chased a few kilometers in the cars with the help of Reto Hollenstein in order to get back to the pack in time for the second time over the Mur d’Huy. 
 
"In the final, Thomas Löfkvist and Sébastien Reichenbach put me in perfect position.  But I was missing a bit of strength in order to snatch a spot in the top 10. 
 
"La Flèche Wallonne is a race for the puncheurs in the group, and so I should feel more suited to the racing at La Doyenne this weekend, and then in the stages of the Tour of Romandie.”
 
For his part, Sébastien Reichenbach also had his share of troubles before helping to position Mathias Frank in the group of favorites as they passed under the flamme rouge. 
 
“After colliding with another rider, I had some mechanical problems that meant that I had to chase for many kilometers to get back to the peloton.  The effort I wasted doing that, and then a crash that worked to disorganize the pack with four kilometers to go, made a difference when I was trying to find the strength in the final for the push up the Mur.  But my form is there.”
 
Kjell Carlström, the team’s directeur sportif for the day, highlighted the virtues and hard work of his riders. 
 
“Given the problems we had today, I am very satisfied.  Mathias could have gone top 5 or even for the win if he had not had that puncture.  What is really our success, though, is just how well the guys are working together.  We have a wonderful team and will be very close to winning when the circumstances are more favorable.”

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