Johannes Fröhlinger of the Milram squad showed on Friday in Arcalis that even though he is relatively unknown, he might soon be a force to be reckoned with for stage wins. The young German placed third on stage seven to Arcalis, after already working hard to prepare Gerald Ciolek's sprint up the Subida de Montjuic in Barcelona on Friday.
Fröhlinger had spent a lot of energy, but he still jumped in the breakaway in the Tour's very first mountain stage and looked good until the end. Only the Frenchmen Brice Feillu (Agritubel) and Christophe Kern (Cofidis) were a tad stronger - which obviously bummed the German as he recovered his spirits in the finish.
"It's a bittersweet feeling right now, because I wasn't too far away from the victory," he told Cyclingnews. "But a third placing is also a really great success for me. I just feel so crushed right now - it's so surreal. I still have to realize it."
The Milram rider, a mere helper to the team's captains Linus Gerdemann and Gerald Ciolek, was surprised that the breakaway wasn't caught. "I thought that it would be very tight. I don't know what the situation behind me was. With five to six kilometres to go, it became clear that we would stay away. And in the last three kilometres, I realized I was going to be able to contend for the win."
Riding his first Tour de France, the 24-year-old was proud to have made it into the limelight. "This is definitely the greatest result of my career so far. I also got second last year in one stage of the Giro - I'm still chasing that first pro victory!"