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Tour of Denmark. Stage 3. Michael Valgren takes second, Matti Breschel crashes but finishes

After yesterday’s annulated stage, today the organizers of the Tour of Denmark did all possible to do the third stage of the race with 183,6 km from Otterup to Vejle. It was another day with some bad weather, however a part of the stage was without rain. 

Astana rider Michael Valgren did a very strong race, was active during the entire day and, finally, finished second, missing just a little to catch the Danish champion Mads Pedersen, who attacked inside the last 500 meters.

- Yeah, it was a hard stage with a bad weather in the final. Unfortunately, we were unlucky to lose Matti Breschel. He was supposed to be with me in the final to play our cards. Finally, I did not have too much space to do something because everybody was watching me. So, I was just trying to save some energy and to go full gas in the end. When Pedersen launched his attack, I could not catch his wheel immediately, because there was a rider from Sunweb between him and me. Later, I have tried to catch him back, was able to regain some seconds, but that was not enough. Actually, I am happy with my legs, I think I had the legs to fight for the stage. But, in the final, some small details did not allow to get a success, - explained Michael Valgren.

Astana Team did a good race right from the start: initially, it was Dmitriy Gruzdev, who did a huge work in front of the pack. Later, Ruslan Tleubayev and Zhandos Bizhigitov joined him to help in chasing the break with Truls Korsaeth supporting two team’s leaders Michael Valgren and Matti Breschel, who won four times in Vejle during his career.

With more or less 41 km to go on the downhill there was a rider who crashed out. Matti Breschel tried to avoid the crash, but it did not work and he fell down as well. Despite a hard crash, Breschel did his best to finish the stage. The decision about tomorrow’s start will be taken after additional medical checking.

The final of the race has been held around Vejle on a small circuit with a quite hard climb (with some slopes around 21%). This climb provoked a number of attacks from the group with no one rider getting any serious advantage. It was only Danish champion Mads Pedersen, who attacked with 500 meters to go, winning this stage. Michael Valgren tried his best to follow Pedersen, but finished second, 3 sec behind the winner.

After today’s stage Mads Pedersen took the lead in the general classification, while Michael Valgren moved up to 2nd in overall, 9 seconds behind the leader.

Stage 4 of the Tour of Denmark will be held tomorrow: an individual time trial of 17,8 km in Randers.

- Tomorrow we will have an important time trial. I hope to do the best TT of the season and, maybe, to gain some seconds in general classification. We will see, - added Michael Valgren.

Photo credit: ©PostNord Danmark Rundt

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