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Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol)
Lotto Belisol not giving up GC hopes
The Lotto Belisol rider who slipped a place from eighth to ninth on the GC following the Besançon time trial on Monday added that the British squad had looked under pressure on stage 8 to Porrentruy when various riders – including himself and team-mate Jelle Vanendert – attacked on the final ascent during the tough seven-climb stage.
"To control the race they are the strongest but when others go full gas sometimes they're also on the limit," said the lanky climber on the first rest day in Macon on Tuesday afternoon.
"I think [our tactics] will be the same as all the other teams we're going to attack now. They [Team Sky] have a gap and we need to attack," he told reporters. "When I put in the attack it's going to be full gas.
"We saw a couple of days ago that when Jelle [Vanendert] put up the tempo a lot of guys got in trouble. It's not so many guys who can answer and maybe if it's more open like that more guys will attack to make the race hard. That will be nice because we've only had 10kms uphill until now," said the 29-year-old, referring to the summit finish in La Planche des Belles Filles.
Van den Broeck, who finished fourth in the 2010 Tour, and Vanendert were clearly relishing the approach of the high mountains and said the squad had identified "four maybe five" stages where there were opportunities to launch forays off the front.
Van den Broeck also said the race missed Alberto Contador as the Alps approached. "I think we miss Contador in the mountains like this because he can really make war on those climbs. He's a man who can attack not once but ten times and that makes the race really hard. Instead of putting the tempo really high he can put it extremely high."
Meanwhile, André Greipel who came down heavily in an early crash on stage 6 to Metz said the shoulder injury he sustained was more painful when he was lying down in bed than on his bike. The German sprinter, who took back to back stages in Rouen and Saint-Quentin, didn't foresee the injury worsening however.
Team manager Mark Sergeant said he was happy with the performance of the team and said Van Den Broeck would be sitting higher on GC were it not for being held up in the big crash on stage 6 to Metz.