Kim Kirchen happily pulled on the yellow jersey for a second time after the demanding stage to Aurillac on Friday but immediately criticised the CSC team for their aggressive riding during the stage.
Kirchen is good friends with fellow Luxembourg riders Frank and Andy Schleck but did not like their team tactics during the hilly stage. He claimed they rode to disrupt the Columbia efforts to control the peloton.
?Frank Schleck and I had been friends but now that we?re racing against each other it?s a little different. We saw today that his team was very intent on trying to take the yellow jersey from me. There are two guys from CSC who I?m not so happy about. They tried to blow up the whole peloton when my team had been working very hard and I don?t think that was really fair,? Kirchen said in the after-race press conference.
?I think my team controlled things very well. They did a good job and I just had to follow them during the stage. Then when CSC came up to ride, they saw the team were in a little bit of difficulty because we?d already done 50km at full gas.?
I couldn?t really understand what they were doing but now I?m happy that we have the yellow, green and white jerseys in the Columbia team. If I?m in the front, why should I not sprint to take points for the green jersey? Maybe I?m going to lose the yellow jersey so afterwards I would be happy to have the green one.?
?My team-mates had a pretty hard day. I had everything under control. Okay, in the finale I was a little bit on my own on the climb but I had great legs and could follow the best riders. On the final climb there was just one moment when I had to do 200 meters at full speed but I managed it and everything went according to plan.?
Kirchen will wear the yellow jersey during Saturday?s eighth stage from Figeac to Toulouse. The stage is packed with short climbs early on meaning the Columbia team will again have to work hard to defend his lead.
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