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“I was focusing the whole day on this climb to go away and actually in front in going away to collect mountain points of course, that’s not nice but he can be happy that he’s not close to me now, that motorcycle guy."

Photo: A.S.O.

ASTANA QAZAQSTAN TEAM

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JAKOB FUGLSANG

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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23.07.2015 @ 23:11 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

"If - if - if - If a motorcycle hadn't hit me I wouldn't be bleeding and I wouldn't have a fine from the commissare."

 

Those were the words of Astana's Jakob Fuglsang after stage eighteen at the Tour de France. Astana Pro Team is angry and disappointed that during stage eighteen an excessive number of race motorcycles at the front of the leading breakaway caused pandemonium in the peloton and injury to Jakob Fuglsang.

 

Fuglsang was leading an attack up the penultimate climb and had finished his turn at the front when a race escort motorcycle struck the Danish rider from behind and dropped him to the road. Fuglsang received lesions to his right elbow and right hip that both bled for the remaining 45 minutes of competition and required medical attention immediately after the stage.

 

Astana Pro Team assisted Fuglsang in returning to his bike after the crash and quickly to the chasing riders behind the leading breakaway he had created during the stage. For this action Astana Pro Team DS Dmitriy Fofonov and rider Jakob Fuglsang were both fined 50 Swiss francs for actions damaging the image of cycling.

 

Fuglsang chased eventual stage winner Romain Bardet of France and held a 30-second gap through the final climb of the day, but was unable to regain his position at the front. In addition, Fuglsang lost opportunities to win points in the Mountains Classification, as well as an unblocked chance at victory.

 

“I got driven down from a motorbike from behind, ridiculous,” Fuglsang said. "I was in the front pulling out to change with Bardet and the motorcycle came from behind and took out my handlebar and took me down.

 

“I was focusing the whole day on this climb to go away and actually in front in going away to collect mountain points of course, that’s not nice but he can be happy that he’s not close to me now, that motorcycle guy."

 

Further back in the peloton Vincenzo Nibali held pace and attacked a lead group of elite riders to finish, weakening key rivals ahead of him on General Classification with two more Alpine stages to go. Nibali is less than 30 seconds behind Robert Gesink of the Netherlands and within 1:30 of a Top-5 finish in the 2015 Tour de France.

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