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Voigt hopes for Paris-Nice victory, will not race Criterium International

By:
Jean-François Quénet
Published:
March 10, 2010, 17:49 GMT,
Updated:
March 11, 2010, 15:54 GMT
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Race:
Paris - Nice, Stage 3

German wants one more Tour de France start before retiring

Jens Voigt is back in a yellow jersey, a situation he has experienced many times in his career, after finishing fourth on the stage to Aurillac today at Paris-Nice.

The German, who is old enough to be the father of 20-year-old stage winner Peter Sagan, made an interesting request after the podium ceremony. "As much as there is the white as the distinctive jersey for the best young rider, there should be a grey jersey to award the best cyclist of the over 35 year old category," Voigt said firmly.

 "At first, I don't like to be beaten by whoever but then, sometimes, I have to look at the situation honestly and realize that my adversaries are much younger than me," Voigt commented. At the age of 38 – he's only one day older than Lance Armstrong – the Berliner doesn't feel like retirement is around the corner.

"I hope that Bjarne (Riis) will select me for the Tour de France again this year", he said. "I've taken part in this race every year since 1998 and I don't want to close this chapter because of a stupid crash.

"I was off the bike for two months after falling in the Alps [during stage 16 of the 2009 Tour de France on July 21, ed.]. I resumed racing at the Tour of Missouri and I kept racing until the Japan Cup. I'm not affected anymore by this crash, but I don't want that to be my last appearance at the Tour de France. Maybe this year I'll do my 13th and last Tour de France. I want to say goodbye with all the honours of the Champs-Elysées."

A five time winner of the Criterium International, Voigt will not defend his title due to a change in the ProTour calendar. Saxo Bank does not having the roster to line up everywhere with Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Catalunya at the same time.

This fact boosts his will to try and win Paris-Nice instead. "I don't remember which one is the côte in Mende but I know that I can't follow Alberto Contador, his suppleness is so impressive. However, if I'm well, I might be the favourite of Paris-Nice now, but if I have a bad day, I might as well finish 10th."

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