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Every cloud has silver lining, says Rogers

BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France -- Michael Rogers said he had learned 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 237.5-kilometer 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 wrongdoing 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 realized, 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.”

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.

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Stage winner Michael Rogers, of Australia, front, is followed by fourth place Jose Rodolfo Serpa, of Colombia, and in second place Thomas Voeckler, of France, as they climb Port de Bales pass, Pyrenees region, during the 16th stage of the Tour de France in Bagneres-de-Luchon, France on Tuesday, July 22. Rogers said in an interview that he learned many lessons during his suspension.


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