Voigt and Cancellara go on the attack at Tour de France
Polka-dot jersey for Voigt and nearly a stage win for Cancellara
Jens Voigt may be the oldest rider in the 2014 Tour de France, but the German veteran wanted to leave his mark on what is his final Tour and went on the attack across the moors of north Yorkshire during stage 1 to win the most combative rider's prize and the polka-dot mountains classification jersey.
When Voigt's moment of fame ended, and the sprinters took over, Fabian Cancellara threw his hand and produced his trademark powerful late-race attack. He surged away in the final kilometer and was only caught and passed in sight of the line. It was a good first day for the Trek Factory Racing team at the Tour de France.
"It was a semi-planned move," Cancellara said as he warmed down on the rollers after going deep with his effort.
"We said we'd try early in the stage and Jens Voigt did a big nice first move. You feel enthusiastic by things like that and after a hard race in the wind and small roads, I was sure I had a chance. I was perhaps placed a little too far back, but I felt good and went for it."
"As I said, I'm not just here for stage 5 (on the cobbles). We're underdogs here. We have all different kinds of riders and we have nothing to lose. I think it was a good start and things can only get better. There's no point in just sitting in the bunch. You don't win or gets results doing that."
Voigt rejuvenated by polka-dot jersey
Voigt seemed rejuvenated after his day out front and after pulling on the polka-dot jersey.
"I always say, all I have is my desire to go on the attack and I've got a big engine. I'm not a good sprinter, a climber or a time trialist. But I have the desire to go and today that was one of those moments," he told Cyclingnews.
"It was mind over matter. I'm definitely old, and I was way over my limits but I went 'All in'. Now I'll see tomorrow how I survive the stage."
"but it's good to have the polka-dot jersey even if it's probably only for a day because despite all the happiness and motivation, you've still got to be realistic with yourself, so I know it's going to be hard to defend it. But I've got it and it's my little episode of my last Tour. Because it wasn't clear if I was in the Tour team or not, I was happy to show that I was a worthy member of the team."
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Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has been Head of News at Cyclingnews since 2022, before which he held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and CyclingWeekly, among other publications.