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“My condition is very good and I’m happy about today’s result.  I lost some time in the descent and I almost crashed on a roundabout by touching the ground with my pedal but I stayed up.  Tomorrow we can try some...

Photo: Sirotti






24.03.2013 @ 10:23 Posted by Jesper Johannesen

As is the case in most stage races, Radioshack-Leopard has entered this year's Criterium International with a number of cards to play. With Andreas Klöden in 8th, Maxime Monfort in 17th and Ben Hermans in 24th, the team kept its options open in yesterday's time trial.


With plenty of GC riders in its ranks, Radioshack is able to line up a highly competitive team in all stage races. This weekend's Criterium International is no exception, and the three-pronged attack of Andreas Klöden, Maxime Monfort and Ben Hermans should be able to make an impression.


Klöden was strong in the Paris-Nice where he ended up in the overall top 10, and with an 8th place in yesterday's time trial he is poised for another top performance in the Corsican race this weekend. The veteran German is happy with his time trial performance and now hopes to strike in today's final summit finish.


“My condition is very good and I’m happy about today’s result," he said. " I lost some time in the descent and I almost crashed on a roundabout by touching the ground with my pedal but I stayed up.  Tomorrow we can try something – maybe even before the last climb.”


Klöden only lost 9 seconds to stage winner and overall leader Richie Porte (Sky). With Monfort 21 seconds behind in 17th and Hermans a further 6 seconds behind in 23rd, the team is well-placed ahead of the final battle.


Jungels impresses again

However, Klöden was not the team's best performer. Neoprofessional Bob Jungels who had a stunning solo victory in last week's GP Nobili Rubinetterie, once again proved his worth ahead of much more experienced rivals. The reigning Luxembourg time trial champion was two seconds faster than Klöden and ended up 7th.


The young Luxembourger was surprised by another impressive performance.


“I didn’t expect this," he said. " I knew my shape was good so I expected a good result but that would have meant top 20.  We have so many WorldTour riders here and for me it’s a surprise to be up there with them.  It gives me so much confidence.  I am happy with that and looking forward to the next races.”


“The TT was uphill, then down and then up again against the wind," he explained. "I think I gave my best throughout the entire course, perhaps losing just a little bit in the last kilometer.  But I gave everything I had.  I am the youngest on the team so it’s kind of unusual that I’m the best, but Andreas is two seconds behind me and tomorrow is the mountain stage.  I think this shows that the coming weeks will be good for us.”


Jungels will struggle to remain with the best in today's mountains stage and will most probably out his services behind his older teammates.



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