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"I wanted to go in the break today and I did it. In the end it was my own fault that I did not make the finish. It’s okay - that's part of racing," Jungels says

Photo: Sirotti






11.06.2014 @ 18:05 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Being a good descender, a fast finisher and a strong climber, Bob Jungels had all the skills to win today's stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné when he had made the right breakaway. However, he took too many risks on the final descent and ended up crashing out of the group, luckily without suffering any major injuries.


Bob Jungels chose his day. The 167.5-kilometer stage four of the Critérium du Dauphiné finished with Col de Manse whose summit crested 12.5 kilometers from the finish line; it was perfect for the young 21-year-old sensation to join the day’s breakaway to make a stab at a stage win. But the tricky descent off the final climb decided elsewise.


All the best laid plans in cycling need a little luck to go with desire and good legs, and today the luck for Jungels fell to the wayside. In one of the dicey switchbacks on the final downhill with less than 10 kilometers to go - as the remnants of the break chased a solo Yuri Trofimov (Katusha) who attacked earlier on the climb - Jungels overcooked the turn and launched head over heels onto the road’s shoulder.


“On the final climb I was playing a little bit," he said. "Trofimov was not far ahead at the top and I went full gas on the downhill and then…I was coming really fast into a corner, and then the back wheel jammed – maybe because of the melting tarmac - and I did an endo into the grass. It looked pretty spectacular but I only have some bruising and scratches. I am okay.


"I knew it was a good stage for me with the downhill at the end because normally I am okay in the downhill. I wanted to go in the break today and I did it. In the end it was my own fault that I did not make the finish. It’s okay – that's part of racing.”


Yuri Trofimov would hold his advantage to claim the solo victory with the fragmented breakaway arriving close to 30 seconds later. Jungels was scooped up by the chasing peloton and arrived with teammate Haimar Zubeldia, two minutes in arrears.  Zubeldia dropped one spot in the overall to 8th as Maxime Bouet (AG2R), part of the day’s breakaway group, leaped into seventh place. However, there is still a lot or racing ahead, and it will be the last two stages that will be decisive in the final categorization of the GC.


The day began with a torrid pace. Stage four was labeled a day where a breakaway could succeed and everyone wanted to be part of the escape. Numerous groups surged ahead, but Team Sky, unhappy with the numbers, shut everything down. It was after the first climb, around kilometer 20, that Sky granted a 13-man group the freedom to go up the road. And Bob Jungles was there.


“It was really hard to get away," he said. "On the first climb no break had gone yet. We went full gas on the climb and no one could attack. Even on the downhill [Sylvain] Chavanel tried but Sky closed all the gaps. After the downhill there was a small counter attack and I waited for that. I also saw that everyone was tired so it was a good moment. It was hard, we all had to go really deep to be in the break.”


Sky was content with the riders in the break, but it was still a torturous day for them with no help in controlling the 13 riders up the road. They led from start to finish, keeping the escapees at an appropriate distance, but there was no desire, or need, to close the gap. The breakaway was given the green light to succeed.


The scenario looked good. Bob Jungels, a gifted climber, adept at descending, and one of the strongest in the 13-man leading group, stood a decent chance of a podium finish. It would have been another fantastic result for the young talent in this WorldTour event.


“I told the team that the first [road] stage would be controlled, yesterday would be controlled by the sprinters’ teams, and today was the day to be free to attack; it was a day for a breakaway," sports director Alain Gallopin said. "We said that today would be perfect for Bob – he is one of our best climbers here. He was a little bit sick with stomach problems earlier, but he showed today he was okay. 


“He would have had a good chance to make the podium; Bob is a fast finisher. The last 12 kilometers was a tricky downhill. When you crash here it is finished. You saw Trofimov had 30 seconds at the top and at the finish he also had 30 seconds.  Nothing changes when it’s technical like this and no one wants to take any risk. And Bob did not take any risk, but one small mistake, and it’s like this.”


Tomorrow the Critérium du Dauphiné continues with stage five, another day peddled for a breakaway. And of course, Trek Factory Racing will be there to make another attempt.


“Tomorrow will be the same thing: Jens [Voigt], Markel [Irizar], Popo [Popovych] could possibly be in the break, but it’s difficult at the end with the côte de Laffrey at the end," Gallopin said. "Today it was 13 guys and Bob was one of the strongest of the group. So we will see tomorrow.


"Markel is very, very strong; he has been always very close to the front group. I told him to take it easy today and keep his energy for tomorrow. Otherwise he would have arrived with the front group. So, tomorrow we will try again.”



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