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Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) bridged up to Daniel Martin on the final climb of stage 9
Dane bounces back from lackluster time trial
Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) was in the right place at the right time on stage 13 of the Tour de France, latching onto a break created by Saxo-Tinkoff in the crosswinds that battered the roads between Tours and Saint-Amand-Montrond in the final 30 kilometres. The stage was won by Mark Cavendish but behind the sprinter, the battle for the overall raged as Saxo-Tinkoff put Sky under increased pressure.
Fuglsang started the day in 13th place overall, 5:48 down in the general classification, and with many predicting a quiet day of action as the peloton rode towards Mont Ventoux on Sunday, a bunch sprint seemed most likely.
However, by the end of the stage Fuglsang had moved up to sixth and shaved the gap between himself and race leader Chris Froome down to 4:39. For a rider with top ten aspirations it was the perfect tonic after a mediocre time trial to Mont-Saint-Michel earlier in the week.
Fuglsang's positioning was key and when Michael Rogers (Saxo-Tinkoff) drove his team to the front Fuglsang shifted through the wheels after his team had supported him during the opening stages of the day.
"Saxo Bank opened up and I just happened to be in a good spot, a good position, and I managed to get on the wheel of Sagan," he said at the finish.
"The moment they start going you can see it and you can hear it because people start screaming and it goes crazy."
Fuglsang rode at Saxo Bank for several years before moving to RadioShack and then Astana and was aware that the Danish team would seek any opportunity in their quest to trouble Sky.
"I knew that Saxo Bank are a team that try if the opportunity is there. They did a really good job to make it but also to wait for as long as they did and then do it as close to the finish so that they could actually finish it off in such a good way."