Liberty Seguros-Wurth rider Ángel Vicioso made a big effort for stage honours in yesterday's 12th stage of the Tour. He made it into the crucial thirteen man break but missed out when Davide Moncoutié (Cofidis) jumped clear in the final hour of racing. They tried to get back on terms but a disorganised chase made it impossible to catch the flying Frenchman.
Vicioso finished third in the stage, being outsprinted by Sandy Casar (Francaise Des Jeux). However, while Vicioso was disappointed not to win, his showing yesterday was a welcome return to form for the rider who has crashed out of the past two Tours.
"I tried my best, but as soon as the first rider attacks from a break like this one, co-operation breaks down behind and it is very hard to bring him back," he said. "We all worked, but it is impossible because in truth, in these circumstances, everybody saves themselves a little bit."
"Tour stage victories are very hard to come by but the most important thing is that I have been up there in the front and will continue trying to do so. I am satisfied because so far, this is my best Tour. I had to abandon the other two due to falls, but here I have already been third on a stage."
"I knew if I got past the hill I would have a chance, but Moncoutié went away at a very hard moment and it was impossible to follow his wheel. It would have been very nice to win here, both for myself and for my team, but after so many stages things are hard. The Alps didn't go great for the team but today we showed that we have the courage to fight on and to make a good race."
Vicioso has been a professional since 1998 and is in his third year working with Liberty DS Manolo Saiz. He's finished two Vueltas a España and two Giri d'Italia, and has the ambition of winning a stage in a major Tour. He was first past the line on stage 15 of the 2000 Giro but was disqualified by judges, who awarded the win to Biagio Conte. He won two stages of the Bicicleta Vasca this year.