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"I am obviously even more disappointed due to the fact that I had great expectations for my dream race. I tried to continue but it was not enough," Modolo says

Photo: João Fonseca

CHRISTOPHER HORNER

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MAXIMILIANO RICHEZE

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RUI ALBERTO FARIA DA COSTA

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SACHA MODOLO

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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UAE TEAM EMIRATES

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06.07.2014 @ 22:47 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lampre-Merida had a mixed day in the Tour de France. While sprinter Sacha Modolo withdrew from the race due to illness, Rui Costa and Chris Horner both proved to be up to the challenge of fighting for the GC.

 

Going into the Tour de France, Lampre-Merida had two goals. They both wanted to see how well Rui Costa and Chris Horner can do in the overall standings and go for stage wins in the sprints with Sacha Modolo.

 

After today's second stage, the team can now focus on the first objective as Sacha Modolo has had to leave the race due to illness. Having struggled massively, he stepped off his bike with 30km to go and has since been diagnosed with a virus. He will now return to Italy to undergo further tests.

 

"I feel a great disappointment not to be able to repay the trust of the team, sponsors and teammates," he said. "I am obviously even more disappointed due to the fact that I had great expectations for my dream race. I tried to continue but it was not enough."

 

In addition to Modolo's bad fortune, lead-out man Maximiliano Richeze crashed for the second day in a row after being hit by a motorcycle and finished the stage as the last rider.

 

As opposed to this, Costa rode very well in the finale and even made a late attack with Chris Froome in a quest to get back to eventual winner Vincenzo Nibali. Despite getting reeled in just before the line, he was very pleased with the outcome.

 

"It was a tough stage that was even more challenging than it looked on paper," he said. "On a personal level I am pleased with my performance and even tried to join Nibali in the finale. Both Froome and I believed it was possible but we realized that the gap was too big and gave up. While I am satisfied with my performance, I am saddened by Modolo's and Richeze's bad day. I wish the best for Sacha and encourage Max to continue."

 

Horner finished in the second group that lost 16 seconds to Nibali. Having arrived at the race with limited racing in his legs, he was pleased with the outcome of a stage that didn't suit him.

 

"'m satisfied with the test," he said "Today was a very hard stage. I did well despite not having the explosiveness that is needed for these climbs."

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