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"I was hoping to get away with four or five of the strongest climbers, like I did, but without Trofimov on the front! I was strong in the sprint and I finished well, but it was just that Trofimov was gone," Nordhaug says

Photo: Belkin Pro Cycling Team








11.06.2014 @ 17:45 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Everything went according to plan for Lars Petter Nordhaug (Belkin) in today's fourth stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné with just one notable exception. The Norwegian made the right breakaway and arrived at the finish with a small group of strong climbers, besting them in the sprint just as he had planned, but Yury Trofimov had destroyed the party by escaping on the final climb to take the stage win.


The Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM tried on all fronts in the Critérium du Dauphiné's stage to Gap today. Lars Petter Nordhaug flew the green and black colours in the escape and the rest of the team rallied around Wilco Kelderman in the white jersey behind.

"I tried, but Yury Trofimov was fast and strong and it was not possible to stay on his wheel," Nordhaug said. "We worked hard behind after he escaped, so his win was deserved."


Team Katusha's Trofimov escaped solo on the Col de Manse, left the original 13-man group with Nordhaug and finished in Gap with a 23-second buffer. Nordhaug finished in fourth at 28 seconds.

Without any GC shack ups today, Dutchman Kelderman continues to lead the young riders competition and sits third overall, 21 seconds behind Chris Froome (Sky).

Nordhaug was free to try in an escape today since the stage, with a category two climb at 12.5 kilometres out, would not likely threaten Kelderman's position. He broke free with 12 others at 21 kilometres into the 167.5 kilometre stage. Not until the end, on the Col de Manse, did the group's harmony collapse.

"I was thinking of how to win. I was hoping to get away with four or five of the strongest climbers, like I did, but without Trofimov on the front! I was strong in the sprint and I finished well, but it was just that Trofimov was gone,” added Nordhaug.

"We'll try again tomorrow, but it's almost already a win when you get into an escape with the heat as it is. It's not easy. We are also keeping our eye on Wilco." 

Wilco had the entire green and black armada protecting him in the leader’s group. Lars Boom shepherded him over the last tricky descents and into Gap.


“The beginning of the stage was pretty hard because the breakaway didn't go early. Many riders wanted to break away. It was nervous. Later, the road was pretty nice, until the downhill to Gap," Kelderman said.


"The roads were nice, better than yesterday. I just had to stay in front on the descents, to be careful to avoid any dangers. It wasn't scary, but you just had to pay attention, that's cycling.


"It wasn't frightening but we had to pay a lot of attention. In some curves, I used my brakes at the last minute. 

"These days are not for the GC men. Froome's Sky team is really strong. They are at the front with the whole team, also on the downhills. With today's stage, the climb came too far to the finish so nothing could be done.


"In the coming days, it'll be very hard to attack Froome and Contador. I'd rather try to follow them as long as I can and moreover keep the white jersey till the end.”



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