Voeckler surprised by Leipheimer’s mark of respect

The desire to claim a Giro d'Italia stage victory saw Thomas Voeckler attack with 12 kilometres remaining in stage three. He was soon accompanied by local boy Davide Malacarne (Quick Step), who had also announced he'd try to be noticed during his first Giro, after finishing second in the Presidential Tour of Turkey.

The pair was happy to see some reinforcement arrive but the new front group didn't co-operate well together. "I don't understand these guys who don't play their chance to go for a stage win," complained Voeckler.

The Frenchman was even more surprised that Astana's Levi Leipheimer didn't give it his all. "He wanted to be nice to me and he told me that he was afraid of me," he said. "Afraid of what? If he thinks that I'm able to beat him on the general classification of the Giro, he’s totally wrong."

Desperate to take a Giro stage win, Voeckler was clearly frustrated in Valdobbiadene. "It's a pity because there aren't many stages for riders like us," he said. "We really had an opportunity to anticipate the sprinters today.

"I actually also wanted to do the same thing as [Giovanni] Visconti did with two kilometres to go but I didn't have the gas by then," he added. "Anyway, it didn't work out for him either. It means it was the right thing to try earlier."

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