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Lang talks polka-dots after Riccò dismissal

Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner) did a great ride

Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner) did a great ride (Image credit: AFP)

By Gregor Brown in Nîmes

German Sebastian Lang hopes to keep the polka-dot jersey of best climber for at least two more stages after replacing Riccardo Riccò at the head of the competition. Following the Italian's dismissal on Thursday morning, the twelfth stage passed without any rider wearing the maillot blanc à pois rouges and so Lang enjoyed his first stage in the jersey on Friday.

"I got a jersey and I got the jersey because of the right system. I feel that it belongs to me," said Lang Friday morning in Narbonne.

Riccò was leading both the mountains and best young rider competitions before being forced to leave the Tour. Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) was already dressed in the maillot blanc of best young rider, holding it for Riccò who had planned to race stage 12 in the polka dot jersey.

On Friday, Lang's first day in the polka dot jersey went well; he took third on two category four climbs, adding a further two points to his total. He leads the competition by three points over team-mate Bernhard Kohl.

"Two years ago, I had the mountains jersey in the German tour," he recalled. "I am not a time trial specialist. I am good for stages, stage races, and the Classics - but I am not a bad mountains rider either. Maybe I will show I can do more than just time trialling."

Lang escaped to take the majority of his points on the Col d'Aspin Sunday. Riccò had passed Lang just prior to the top, but Lang gathered 26 points for passing second.

Those points should see him keep the jersey until the end of stage 15 to Prato Nevoso. "I will not try for escapes," he said. "I think it is possible to keep the jersey over the two next days [stage 13 and stage 14]. It will be finished when the race arrives in the Alps."

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