Le Mével takes aim at pink jersey

Christope Le Mevel at start of stage 4 of the Giro D'Italia.

Christope Le Mevel at start of stage 4 of the Giro D'Italia. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)

As the racing resumes at the Giro d'Italia after the procession honouring the memory of deceased rider Wouter Weylandt, a man to watch is Christophe Le Mével. The Frenchman from Garmin-Cervélo is on sixth position in the overall classification and might find himself at ease in stage 5 using 19.3 kilometres of gravelled roads on the way to Orvieto in Tuscany. He's the climber who made the selection on the final hill preceding the arrival in Rapallo on Monday.

"Before the stage, looking at the profile with a hill located with 10 kilometres to go, I promised to myself that I wouldn't hesitate to attack if there was an opportunity," Le Mével told Cyclingnews after the neutralized stage 4. "As I was on a good position, I attacked. Pablo Lastras made our group of four ride very fast in the downhill. Only with one kilometre to go, I've realized that my teammate David Millar had come across, so I rode flat out for the jersey."

Finishing second to Angel Vicioso, the Scot became the new race leader thanks to the time bonus instead of the Frenchman. "I'm happy for him," Le Mével said. "He deserves the jersey more than me for now because he has done most of the work during the team time trial."

The Garmin-Cervélo team has now two cards to play for the pink show. "It's up to us to create other opportunities like on Monday', Le Mével added. "We'll ride at the front for sure." As a climber who came from mountain biking, he's an obvious potential successor to Cadel Evans for winning stage 5 using the roads of the Strade bianche in Tuscany. "I'll do my best for being at the front and ride for the stage win," Le Mével warned. "If I happen to take the pink jersey in Orvieto, it's gonna be super! But if I don't, I might have another chance in Montevergine on Friday. I believe David can be good on the Strade bianche as well."

Millar's late discovery of the classics make him a valuable contender for stage 5 too. He sadly missed the Flemish classics this year due to a virus, so the gravelled roads from Tuscany give him an opportunity to overcome his frustration. In any case, the Garmin-Cervélo team still has a lot to do at the Giro after the abandon of Tyler Farrar due to the death of his good friend Weylandt.

"It's good to see that all the good work I've done at home pays off," said Le Mével who hails originally from Brittany but recently moved from Nice to Lugano in Switzerland. He's making his return this year to the race where he won a stage in 2005. That year, he met his Italian wife Laura.

"Italy is my second country," he added. Even though he was the best French rider finishing tenth with Française des Jeux in 2009, he doesn't have the Tour de France on his race program this year and focuses on the Giro d'Italia only.


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