Italian cycling fans may well be sceptical about the chances of their idols Vincenzo Nibali and Michele Scarponi after less than inspiring performances on the Grossglockner but for the French, there may still be hope yet with John Gadret and Hubert Dupont. The two riders from Ag2r-La Mondiale have ridden well so far in the Giro and capped it today with an impressive performance in Austria. Gadret and Dupont came third and fourth on the Austrian summit and have now entered the top ten on GC; eighth and tenth respectively. Cyclingnews caught up with Dupont at the end of stage 13.
"I got dropped in the first part of the Grossglockner", said Dupont.
"[However] I came across at the bottom of the second part and I attacked just to see if anyone would react. I though that I was lost anyway and I was nowhere on GC, so I was free to move. The best part of my move was that John (Gadret) came across and I gave him a quick turn. I just maintained my effort after that and that’s how I ended up fourth," said Dupont.
The Lyon rider still has plenty in the tank for the final week of the Giro having missed plenty of days of racing in Spring.
"I had a tendinitis after Paris-Nice, so I only got six days of racing prior to the Giro, with the Tour du Finistère, the Giro del Trentino and the GP Frankfurt. I came out pretty well of Trentino, so I knew I’d be all right at the Giro. I’m fresh. I’ve done well in the past during Grand Tours but more between tenth and twentieth. To finish fourth on a big mountain stage is enormous," he continued.
The Frenchman who turned pro with RAGT in 2005 is now doing his tenth Grand Tour. He rode the Tour de France twice and has already finished fourth in stage 10 of the 2006 Giro d’Italia but - that wasn’t a mountain stage, and so today was even more special for Dupont. When asked about his thoughts on who will win the 2011 edition of the Giro d’Italia he was not shying away from picking the inform Contador.
"I don’t think that Contador will lose anything [on Zoncolan]. He’s pretty good at profiting from the work of other teams and he hasn’t burned his own team yet. They have resources, so he should be all right. He’s got the race in his hands."