Sunday 04 March 2012 - 15:32

Leipheimer On the Podium After Paris-Nice Stage 1

Leipheimer On the Podium After Paris-Nice Stage 1

Levi Leipheimer placed third on Sunday for Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team, at the 9.4km Dampierre-en-Yvelines - Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse time trial of Paris-Nice. His stage 1 time of 11'23" placed him four seconds behind race winner Gustav Larsson (VCD), and one second back from Bradley Wiggins (Sky Pro Cycling).

"I'm happy about my race even if it was a while since I raced," Leipheimer said. "Normally after a couple of races I will be better. In any case I'm among the best today, not far from the victory. The parcours was really fast and the climb at the beginning was really like shock to the system. Now we go into the race. Paris-Nice is always dangerous. First of all I want to stay out of trouble and then help Tony to fight for the victory. Tony is the captain here, he has the number one on his back and we will try to put him in the best position in the GC before the last TT."

Sylvain Chavanel also finished in the top ten, finishing 6th with a time of 11'32" (12 seconds back). The key for Chavanel was passing the 1.8km intermediate point, which was a climb, in just three minutes. That was the third best intermediate time of the race. Tom Boonen also placed 11th, with a time of 11'35" (15 seconds back).

2011 Paris-Nice winner and world time trial champion Tony Martin was 28th, riding the course in rainy conditions. He finished with a time of 11'44", which was 25 seconds back from the race winner. Kevin de Weert was 29th (same time).

"I had bad legs today right from the start," Martin said. "I couldn't feel good I don't know why. I did everything, I had a good warm up and I was motivated but I wasn't able to do the race I was expecting to do. It was just a bad day. I wanted to fight for the stage but every race is different, I have to accept it. In the descent I couldn't set my power. If you can't go full gas you start thinking that maybe it is better to avoid risks. For sure I lost some seconds on the descent but it can't be an excuse. In any case I will fight in the next days. Everything is still possible in a race as Paris-Nice."

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