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"It was the same for all the other teams so we can’t put our bad luck down to the weather, but it looks like most of our bad moments here fell on the same day. We will look to recover and move on now with a long season ahead.”

Photo: Team Giant-Alpecin








14.03.2015 @ 19:30 Posted by Andy Pedersen

The seventh day of racing at Paris-Nice was a day to forget for Team Giant-Alpecin as four of the remaining seven riders in the race withdrew ahead of tomorrow’s final stage. The cold and wet stage took its toll on the riders with those already suffering succumbing to their problems and stepping off the bike, including Warren Barguil, Tom Dumoulin, Koen de Kort and Zico Waeytens.


The stage featured a large breakaway of 32 riders that formed in the early stages, including Barguil. Behind this Waeytens was the first to withdraw. Waeytens had been suffering from a saddle sore in the past few days and the infection became too much on this tough penultimate stage. De Kort was the next to get dropped from the peloton as more and more riders suffered in the dropping temperatures and he also withdrew after consulting with the coaches back in the convoy.


At the front of the race the large leading group started to break up and re-group over the day’s several climbs and although sticking with the pace, the pain from his previous crash started to take its toll on Barguil. As the rain started to fall it became too much for the young Frenchman and he also pulled out of the race.


This left John Degenkolb, Georg Preidler, Roy Curvers and Dumoulin in what was left of the peloton, but Dumoulin was suffering and not feeling good on the bike so with the coaches he also decided to step off the bike before the end of the day.


At the front of the race, a select group from the original breakaway pulled clear and had enough room to fight out the stage win amongst themselves, while behind the overall favourites pulled clear but could not do enough to peg back the gap to the leaders with stage winner Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal) having enough of a buffer to move into the race lead by 36 seconds ahead of tomorrow’s final climb.


In what was left of the peloton behind, Preidler was the first home in 52nd place, at over 18 minutes, while Degenkolb and Curvers also finished safely within the time limit.


Team coach in France, Adriaan Helmantel said after the finish:


“It was a bit of a black day for the team here today but it is a day that we have to try and find the good points from nonetheless.


“Zico was the first to go, and we were already unsure if he could start the stage as he was fighting an infection. He tried but was dropped early so we took the decision for him to stop the race. Warren made the day’s big break early on which was good, but he wasn’t feeling great already before the stage and so it was an all or nothing move. When it started to rain and get colder he started to feel the pain more and more so he also stepped off the bike.


“Koen couldn’t follow as the pace got harder in the peloton and also stopped, and then Tom had to call it a day as he was just empty on the bike today. Ahead of the race we were unsure as to how Tom would recover on the bike, and today proved one tough stage too many for him. John, Roy and Georg did well to finish – it was a tough day on the bike out there today. It was the same for all the other teams so we can’t put our bad luck down to the weather, but it looks like most of our bad moments here fell on the same day. We will look to recover and move on now with a long season ahead.”



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