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Cobo annoyed, can still reach top 10

Juan José Cobo was ticked off at getting left out of the first large peloton

Juan José Cobo was ticked off at getting left out of the first large peloton (Image credit: Jean-François Quénet)

Juan Jose Cobo (Saunier Duval - Scott) wasn't happy with losing time to the main general classification contenders in yesterday's stage 3 at the Tour de France. Cobo was distracted as the main bunch split into three groups during the stage's closing kilometres, seeing him finish 40 seconds behind the main overall contenders.

"It´s a pity and I´m really pissed off," he admitted. "I was in the lead all throughout the race, and I got distracted for a moment and fell behind. It was stressful, since there's a change in direction and everyone wanted to find a place up front. I was alone at that moment and then, although we gave it a try with Rabobank, it was impossible to reach the leading bunch again."

While the Spanish rider admitted the gap would make little difference in the overall classification, he was clearly annoyed by what happened. The peloton split as the front half increased its efforts to draw back the early breakaway, which it never managed to do.

"I guess they won´t be terribly difficult to overcome in the end, but it´s annoying, you know?" he said. "I´m feeling good, I´m in good shape, and I think I can place well in the general classification.

"My goal is finishing in the top 10," he added. "It's reasonable, taking into account my performance last year without much preparation and losing a lot of time in one of the stages. I'd prefer [the] time trial to be tougher, with changes of pace. I shouldn't lose much time to the favourites, less than one minute would be great."

Cobo's Italian team-mate Riccardo Riccò was also annoyed with finishing in the second of the three large bunches. The outcome doesn't affect Riccò's aims for the Tour, the rider said.

"These kind of Tour stages are always stressful. Everyone wants to be in the lead and the one thing to avoid is crashes. Losing 30 seconds is no big deal to me, because my goal is scoring one stage win. I know I'll lose time in the time trial, but I can fight for victory on Thursday."

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