Stage 13 of the Tour de France was “a very easy day” for team Astana, according to manager Alexander Vinokourov. And how could he not have been pleased when captain Vincenzo Nibali won the stage, his third this year, and built up his overall lead?
“We tried to control things, and some have been left behind, but Vincenzo was very good, and Porte, for example, had problems,” he said on Biciciclismo.com. Richie Porte (Team Sky) suffered on the day and dropped from second place to 16th overall.
“Vincenzo saw the opportunity, has been superb, and you have to enjoy the moment,” Vinokourov said. "Nibali has shown, once again, that he is the boss and he has made it very clear so that all understand it."
There are still eight stages, however, and much climbing to go, and Nibali will need helpers. Jakob Fuglsang was unable to help on Friday after crashing. Saturday’s Alpine stage 14 is expected to be a “tough day, we’ll see how the team is. Maybe it will be weaker than other days,” he said.
As for Fuglsang, “with the heat it may be a tough day for him. Anyway, we will try to control the race,” Vinokourov said.