Bold plan almost pays off for Argos-Shimano

Argos-Shimano gave themselves plenty of opportunities for the win at the Tour de France on Saturday with Roy Curvers in the early break and Matthieu Sprick escaping with Rabobank's Luis Leon Sanchez with a kilometre left to race on Stage 13.

Sprick and Sanchez were chased down by a reduced field, led somewhat surprisingly by maillot jaune Bradley Wiggins (Sky) who was attempting to deliver Edvald Boasson Hagen to victory.

While Sanchez blamed Wiggins for his failure to stay away, Sprink believed that responsibility lay his fellow escapee.

"But Sanchez didn't cooperate", Sprick said afterwards on the team website.

"I don't know if he was tired or just thought that we would stay away anyway, but I knew that we had to pull hard to make it. I also knew that the last two kilometres were slightly uphill. That was a possibility for me, because I don't stand a chance in a sprint with guys like André Greipel, Peter Sagan and Boasson Hagen. We had to work together in order to make it."

Sprick was quickly swallowed up and crossed the finish line in 21st position on the same time as stage winner, Greipel.

Sprick is riding his sixth Tour de France, and last week extended his contract with Argos-Shimano through until the end of 2013.


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