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Dublin: 18 °C Friday 22 June, 2018

Rogers finally wins a Tour de France stage, takes a bow as he crosses the line

“It’s amazing, I can’t describe the joy I felt in the last 500m.”

Source: Peter Dejong

MICHAEL ROGERS SAID he had learnt lessons when serving a temporary doping suspension that helped him win his first ever Tour de France stage.

The 34-year-old Australian escaped from a five-man breakaway group to claim victory on the Tour’s mammoth 16th stage from Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon on Tuesday.

Yet the Tinkoff-Saxo rider’s success came only after a temporary suspension for taking the banned stimulant clenbuterol was lifted.

Rogers had tested positive for clenbuterol at the Japan Cup last October but he was cleared by the International Cycling Union (UCI) of any wrong-doing back in April.

“Certainly it’s been a lesson in life for me, I just accepted the person who I was,” said Rogers of his enforced break.

“I always dreamed of winning a Grand Tour and I tried for many years.

All of a sudden I realised, stop trying to live someone else’s life, you can win stages, you can win seven-day stage races that are a little bit shorter.

“I can attribute it to a different outlook on life. I don’t give up easily.

“Objectives are very hard to understand and sometimes you need a lesson in life to see the real silver lining in the cloud.”

Source: Latest News/YouTube

Although a three-time world time-trial champion, Rogers had never before won a Grand Tour stage before this year.

He won two at the Giro d’Italia in May, just a month after returning from suspension, and now managed his first Tour stage in his 10th appearance at the Grand Boucle.

“You dream of winning a stage of the Tour de France since you’re a kid. This was my 10th Tour, that makes 205 stages I’ve been without a win.

It’s amazing, I can’t describe the joy I felt in the last 500m when I knew I was going to win.

“I hope I don’t have to wait another 10 years to feel that again.”

Frenchman Thomas Voeckler, who had twice before won stages in this town, took second in a sprint finish 9sec behind Rogers, ahead of Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus.

Colombian Jose Serpa was fourth with Cyril Gautier of France fifth.

They were the remnants of a 21-man breakaway that got clear of the bunch with around 150km still to go.

But it was behind that, in the peloton, where some of the major action was happening.

Italian Vincenzo Nibali held onto his race leader’s yellow jersey, 4min 37sec ahead of Alejandro Valverde, as he came home in a small and elite group of his closest rivals.

© – AFP 2014

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