Nicki Sorensen Wins Stage 12 of Tour de France 2009
One of Team Saxo Bank's two Danish riders chosen for its Tour de France team, Nicki Sorensen won the twelfth and 211 kilometer stage from Tonnerre to the city of mineral water, Vittel. The Danish veteran took the second stage victory for Team Saxo Bank in the 2009 Tour de France.
Nicki Sørensen made an impressive solo ride and caught the front group after 60 kilometers. Many riders had tried to escape ealier without success.
On today's course the seven riders in the breakaway were to climb six smaller categorized climbs which was the primary reason why Pellizotti (Liquigas) and Martinez (Euskatel) were represented in the front group. Both are aiming for the mountain jersey win in Paris. Besides these three riders the group consisted of Pauriol (Cofidis), Le Fevre (Bbox) Calzati (Agritubel) and Fothen (Milram).
40 kilometers from the finish line the front group had a lead of four minutes and everything was then set for an exciting pursuit with Nicki Sorensen in a key role.
With AG2R in the front of the field with 30 kilometres to go it looked like a victory for the breakaway that had a lead of 3.5 minutes to a slightly lazy peloton getting ready for tomorrow's mointain stage.
23 kilometers from the finish line Nicki Sorensen launched a resolute attack in which only Calzati (Agritubel) had the ability to follow the pace. Behind the two riders in front, the quintet engaged in a chase which further intensified the tension.
With a little more than five kilometers to go Nicki Sorensen easily powered away from his temporary companion who had also done a great job at keeping the chasers away. Sorensen now only had the finish line in mind.
And the Danish veteran was absolutely superb in the final kilometers where he increased his lead all the way to the finish line which he crossed with his arms raised and a big smile on his face.
"I would like to have been in yesterday's break and today I grabbed the opportunity by riding to the front group on my own. But I had the strength and believed I was able to complete the plan to win. I was obviously a little nervous because Pellizotti was very strong but I did the right thing by attacking first. Of course I was tired by the end but everything worked out perfectly for me today. Now, maybe my chances of getting a job next year will be increased”, said a very proud Nicki Sorensen after the stage.
The stage result had no big influence on the overall standings where Nocentini (AG2R) is still the fortunate leader of the race ahead of Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong (both Team Astana).
Tomorrow the Tour caravan will battle 200 kilometers on a more challenging route featuring two category 3 climbs, two category 2 climbs and one category 1 mountain.
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