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"When I saw at one point that Andy was dropped then I attacked from the peloton. I did not know who was in the front. A Qhubeka guy was with me but he did not want to pull," Didier says

Photo: Sirotti








08.06.2014 @ 21:26 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Andy Schleck wanted to use the final stage of the Tour de Luxembourg to build on his Tour de France conditions and the Luxembourger did well by making it into the race-winning breakaway. However, the finale proved that there is still a long way to go for the 2010 Tour winner as he was unable to follow André Greipel on the hilly circuit.


The five-day Luxembourg tour ended with another leg-breaking course that again left diminished numbers by the finish line. Fränk Schleck finished in 8th place to solidify his 9th overall after a nine-man breakaway was all but nullified with one exception: André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) jumped away from the fragmented breakaway to pull off a rare solo win, his second victory of the race.


It was Andy Schleck who instigated the day's breakaway in the 168-kilometer stage four with a solo attack, which swelled to nine riders. Danny van Poppel joined Schleck in the move that arrived to the tough finish circuits with a few minutes lead. The circuits proved to be their unraveling as the sharp climb each lap tore apart the group, and behind, wreaked similar destruction in the peloton. Laurent Didier attacked when the group up the road exploded, leaving first Van Poppel, then eventually Schleck, behind. It was a savvy, albeit short-lived, move. 


“Saxo pulled for most of the day but the gap still grew," Didier said. "At the climb before we entered the circuit Colombia also began to pull as their GC was threatened. When I saw at one point that Andy was dropped then I attacked from the peloton. I did not know who was in the front. A Qhubeka guy was with me but he did not want to pull.”


Although they were unable to muster another big result after Danny van Poppels prologue victory, Trek Factory Racing gained some hard miles in Luxembourg ahead of its main goal, the Tour de France. It was not a parcours that suited Fränk Schleck’s climbing abilities, and as a targeted rider in the tactical race he was hard-pressed to find the freedom to move.  The team plans were well executed, explained Laurent Didier, but in the end the team just did not have the legs on the undualting luxembourg terrain to carry it through to the end.


“The plan was to have someone in the break so we attacked from the start," Didier said. " We saw that Saxo and Rusvelo wanted the bonus seconds at 20 kilometers so they kept it together. After this was a long climb of 7kms – not that steep  – I tried here and was away with three others but Saxo closed our group back. Then Andy countered, and went away and formed a group of nine riders with Danny.


"Our best chance this week was the stage of Saturday where we had a good plan but the team was not quite strong enough to be there with Fränk at the end.”


Matti Breschel (Tinkoff-Saxo) claimed the overall victory as Jean-Pierre Drucker (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) leaped back into second place and Michael Morkov (Tinkoff-Saxo) moved into third with the time bonus seconds they claimed in the intermediate sprints.



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