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Kadri Stars on Centre Stage
13 Jul, 2014

As the Tour emerged from the flatter fast paced roads of the first week we saw the slighter built riders come to the fore as the Tour saw its first taste of the medium mountain stages.  French riders were up for the task to get points on the board for the home nation and none more so than the mountain goat Blel Kadri (AG2R) and the ever combative Sylvain Chavanal (IAM). 
With a lead on the peloton that housed all of the leaders jerseys that stretched to 11 minutes at one point but started falling rapidly as the pace from behind picked up signalled the time to fly to Kadri and Chavanal as they hit the first climbs of the day, Kadri being of pure climber statue had the advantage on the steep grades ranging between 8-25% and went clear. 
Riding like a man posessed the man from Toulouse was never going to be caught and from 30km out held his advantage gallantly against the fluro yellow henchmen of Tinkoff Saxo that were raising hell in the peloton spitting out most of the top 10 overall and shattering dreams in the process.  With arms raised aloft as Kadri emerged from the rain and mist in Gerardmer the smile said it all of an athlete who had trained for this moment all of his sporting career.

Behind it was Contador crossing in second spot after cracking Nibs just pior to the finish line.  The punchy Contador looking fresh and relishing what lays ahead as the race now hits the hard roads will be a thorn in the side for the current yellow jersey wearer.  Nibali cannot be discounted though as a two time grand tour winner he too has experience on his side but his team will need to switch up a gear and find their mountain legs fast or their leader will get eaten by the impressive Tinkoff Saxo beast we saw today.

 

Click to enlarge...
An incredible win from Kadri

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