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"It's a huge moral boost after several setbacks, even a teeth infection in the last few weeks, and being able to contest a Tour sprint with some of the best guys around is a good sign."

Photo: Sirotti






02.07.2013 @ 09:28 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

After several months of coming close to a victory in different kinds of races and committed to team labours in his fifth Tour de France participation, José Joaquín Rojas shone again in Tour de France  at the third, final stage of the race in Corsica yesterday.


The Spaniard came in 3rd at the finish in Calvi after a day full of ups and downs in the 146km route starting at Ajaccio. Rojas was one of five Movistar Team riders -along with Valverde, Amador, Costa and Quintana- to reach the summit of the final, Cat-2 climb of Marsolino in the front group.


Quintana and Amador were the men in charge of leading the pace for their team leader against the flurry of attacks ahead, the last move -featuring Chavanel (OPQ), Nieve (EUS), Nordhaug (BEL) and Rolland (EUC)- being brought back by the bunch with 3km remaining. Rojas took up a good position in the tricky finish, with two roundabouts in the final 1.5km, and only the bigger power from Gerrans (OGE) and Sagan (CAN) kept him from victory.

“This third place makes me happy, but the man in front of me before the sprint lost a bit of place and I don't know if I would have been able to contest the stage with Gerrans and Sagan otherwise,” Rojas explained. “Still I'm content with the result, especially because I've realized that yesterday's [Sunday’s] failure was just a bad day. I had cramps with the heat and felt horribly bad. Things are now working properly. This was a stage I knew that could be good for me, but my priority is always staying with Alejandro [Valverde] and, only after completing my work, looking at my personal chances. It's a huge moral boost after several setbacks, even a teeth infection in the last few weeks, and being able to contest a Tour sprint with some of the best guys around is a good sign. Tomorrow's stage is a crucial one, a big test for the team - let's hope it goes well. If we don't have any problems, I think we'll end up really high in the standings, and we might even aspire to win. We did well in the last few TTT's and we hope to keep that level tomorrow. Anyhow, it might well be a moral victory if we just manage to place high, after staying away from trouble in these last few days with Alejandro - gaps won't be huge between the main favourites.”



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