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"The Tour de France is like no other bike race in the world, and we knew that a Top-10 was already an extremely difficult goal to accomplish.”

Photo: Sirotti

ASTANA QAZAQSTAN TEAM

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JAKOB FUGLSANG

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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22.07.2013 @ 11:16 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) completed a personal all-time best as he finished the Tour de France on Sunday in seventh place in the general classification.

 

Fuglsang completed his three week journey safely in the pack after 133km from Versailles to the broad, cobbled boulevard in central Paris known as the Champs Elysees. Accompanied by his teammates, the Danish rider crossed the line in the same time as stage winner Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) of Germany and overall winner Chris Froome (Sky) of Great Britain.

 

Fuglsang began the Tour three weeks ago on the island of Corsica with ambitions of finishing in the top ten, but as the race unfolded he was able to adjust his ambitions and gradually improve on his standings despite losing four teammates on the road to Paris.

 

"We set a goal at the beginning of the season that brought me here to Paris today,” Fuglsang explained according to the Astana website. “Together with the managers and directors we prepared training camps, a race schedule and a specific work to bring me into this race. The Tour de France is like no other bike race in the world, and we knew that a Top-10 was already an extremely difficult goal to accomplish.”

 

Astana Pro Team General Manager Alexandr Vinokurov said the staff had a strong belief in Fuglsang and the team around him from the start and never lost that faith during the race even though the team crumbled in size due to bad luck.

 

"We lost four riders along the road to Paris, and we were the smallest team left at the end of the race with just five men on their bikes. But we also helped Jakob get to seventh and stay there, and in the final week in the Alps, when the other teams had two or even three riders climbing with their leaders, Jakob was making smart choices and racing with great intelligence and strength. We are proud of Jakob and proud of the guys for a job well done," Vinokurov said.

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