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“We really had to dig deep and put in a huge effort. I believe this is the kind of stage that may take its toll on many riders at a later stage in the race.”

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08.07.2013 @ 11:47 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Sunday saw another attempt by Pierre Rolland (Europcar) to claim a stage. In the end the Frenchman’s ambitions were demolished by the thrusts of the Movistar Team but in the process Rolland added enough points in the KOM competition to win back the red polka dot jersey.

 

“Some people said that the Pyrenees would not play any significant role in this year’s Tour de France with only two stages and one summit finish, but just look at the stage today [Sunday]!” Rolland told L’Equipe.  “We really had to dig deep and put in a huge effort. I believe this is the kind of stage that may take its toll on many riders at a later stage in the race.”

 

Marooned at 26th at 12’34”, Rolland has no options in the overall at this year’s race, but he has set his sights on other things. "I fell behind in the standings. The goal now is to go for a stage win for the team, either for myself or another rider. And I'll try to keep this jersey. It would be a dream for me. But of course that's easy to say and hard to get. For me it's the jersey of Richard Virenque and Laurent Jalabert, my idols when I was younger."

 

In the past two years, Rolland has been a major player in the Tour de France. In 2012 he won at the top of La Toussuire and finished eighth overall. He appeared as a revelation a year earlier, in 2011, when he won on L’Alpe d'Huez ahead of Samuel Sanchez and Alberto Contador and finished tenth on the Champs Elysees in the white jersey as the best young rider.

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