Team Lampre-Merida

모돌로는 DNF, 루이 코스타는 여전히 뚜르를 질주 중


모돌로는 DNF, 루이 코스타는 여전히 뚜르를 질주 중

After the initial four stages of the Tour de France, TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA's chances to win a bunch sprint have decreased drastically. On the other hand, Rui Costa made it through the frantic first couple of days in England unscathed.

TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA's sprinter fraction was struggling heavily in the Tour de France's first couple of days. Due to a viral infect Sacha Modolo was dropped by the main bunch on the first stage and was forced to abandon the next day. To make matters worse Max Richeze suffered one crash each on the first two stages. Thus the Argentinian who had become a father for the first time just before the Tour de France had to switch to survival mode in order to make it to the finish.

For world champion Rui Costa the situation is much more promising: For the first time in his career he's allowed to pursue his own ambitions regarding the overall standings of the Tour de France. At the end of the demanding second stage that was dubbed a small spring classic by many experts, Rui Costa was the only rider of TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA who managed to keep himself within a select 20-men group that contained all the favourites for the overall standings.

American Chris Horner has been showing an improving form, as he lost no more than 14 seconds to his captain on the second stage and remained close to him during the other three stages. Another rider to perform crucial duties as a domestique for his compatriot and the entire TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA was the freshly crowned Portuguese road champion Nelson Oliveira. In the overall standings, Rui Costa is placed in 15th after four stages with the same time as the 2nd-placed rider.

For the fourth stage the Tour de France returned to France, and after another frantic stage with a couple of crashes it all ended in a bunch sprint, which was won for the third time by Marcel Kittel. Davide Cimolai was contesting the sprint for TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA. He set out from a less than stellar position and moved up to cross the finish line in 9th, scoring a top10 result.

Tomorrow the Tour de France is going to follow some of the route of the Paris-Roubaix Classic. Nine sections of the infamous cobbles are waiting for the riders. The stage race cannot be won on this stage, but it can be lost easily.