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"I hope Paul will be able to continue riding because he’s in really good shape. The other two are okay, so we’re very optimistic for the coming days," Poitschke says

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12.07.2014 @ 00:08 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Paul Voss was hoping to sprint himself into the top 10 in today's stage 7 of the Tour de France but was involved in a crash on the finishing straight. Having suffered a broken nose and a broken finger, his debut Tour may have come to a premature end.

 

The second-longest stage of this year’s Tour de France took the riders today from Epernay to Nancy over a total of 234.5 kilometers. Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma – Quick Step) won the sprint of a greatly reduced field, beating out Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Tony Gallopin (Lotto Belisol) in a photo finish. NetApp – Endura had three riders still in the race near the end, but they got caught up in a crash on the last kilometer, which meant they could no longer battle it out for the win of the day. Paul Voss fractured his nasal bone and broke the small finger on his left hand in the crash. The decision as to whether he will be able to race in tomorrow’s stage will be made before the start.

 

In spite of all the bad news, Team NetApp – Endura had a convincing performance again today. Once again, Bartosz Huzarski demonstrated his qualities as a breakaway rider, taking the lead for more than 200 kilometers. He was part of a group of six riders that formed shortly after the start of the race. They were caught with only 20 kilometers to go. During the difficult final part of the race, which included three climbs, the peloton dispersed as expected. After the pace was intensified and following some crashes, 40 riders were able to take off and hold on to a one-minute lead all the way to the finish line. NetApp – Endura rode very attentively once again, and Leo König, Tiago Machado and Paul Voss were able to remain with that group. Unfortunately, all ambitions for a top result were dashed as a result of the crash.

 

“We had big plans for today," sports director Enrico Poitschke commented after the stage. "We definitely wanted to have someone in the group during this long stage, and Bartosz did a very good job implementing that plan. He really had a strong race.

 

"The final part of the race was going well for us, and that’s why we focused on Paul. And that, too, went exactly according to plan. The entire team worked very well, with the result that we had three riders in the lead group.

 

"Unfortunately, with 900 meters to go, there was a crash involving all three of our riders, and so the dream of a great result came to an end. I hope Paul will be able to continue riding because he’s in really good shape. The other two are okay, so we’re very optimistic for the coming days.” 

 

The eighth stage has the first climbing finish at this year’s Tour de France. After starting in Tomblaine, the peloton will have to cover 161 kilometers on the way to Gerardmer in the Vosges region. After two category-2 mountain classifications the climbing specialists will fight it out on the final 1.8-kilometer ascent with an average gradient of 10.3%.

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