Riis gives Indurain a hard time
Patrick D. Walters
PWALTERS at delphi.com
Mon Jul 10 18:16:55 PDT 1995
16 9-JUL-1995 15:34 Cycling-Denmark's Riis gives Indurain a hard time
SERAING, Belgium, July 9 (Reuter) - All eyes were on Swiss Tony Rominger
and Russian Yevgeny Berzin in Sunday's Tour de France's much-awaited
time-trial but the only man to really threaten Miguel Indurain turned out to
be Dane Bjarne Riis.
"Nobody believed I could do it apart from me," he said after giving mighty
Spaniard Indurain a hard time most of the way along the 54 kms of a demanding
course in the Belgian countryside near Liege.
Riis, who came on the Tour to help out Berzin, his leader in the Gewiss
Ballan stable, was ahead of Indurain in intermediate time five kms from the
line before suffering in the final climb to end up second 12 seconds slower
than the four times Tour winner.
"I didn't have the morale to finish strongly enough," said Riis, critical
of the attitiude of his team.
"Nobody told me where I stood. I didn't know I was so close to Miguel. I
only wish they had told me that I was fighting for victory, maybe I would have
found the strength to win the stage."
Riis, who came fifth in the Tour in 1993 and won two stages, last year and
in Chalons-sur-Marne the year before, is a useful climber capable of
challenging Indurain in the mountains.
"He did something remarkable today and I will certainly keep an eye on
him," said the Spaniard.
Riis proved he was on-form before Sunday's stage by taking the race
leader's yellow jersey in Charleroi on Friday, only to lose it to Belgian
Johan Bruyneel the next day in Liege.
After he won the coveted shirt, wife Mette and son Jesper came to support
him and they were watching with special attention on Sunday.
"I didn't see him much because of the crowd but I saw him on the screen,"
said his wife, holding their son in her arms. "He looked fantastic in his
yellow jersey and we're both very proud of him."
Before catching his breath to answer questions, Riis had struggled to say
a few words. "It's incredible how it hurts," he said, exhausted after crossing
Then young Jesper came to kiss his father and the pain vanished.
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