Tour of California - Inside Team Liquigas Stage 3
Inside team Liquigas at today's stage... team comments, photos and the teams
ride, the Liquigas Cannondale "System Six"
By Alicia Hopkins
Mauro Da Dalto at the sign-in of Stage 3.
Photo courtesy of Brian Dallas at www.RideVentura.com
I spoke to Frederik Willems who did not start today’s
stage, as he is having knee problems, but he hopes to be back in order to race
in Belgium. “The team is very happy with the second place finish of Paolini
The breakaway of 17 riders that included Liquigas' Wegelius
and Da Dalto. Photo courtesy of Will Swetnam at
I also spoke with Director Sportif Stefano Zanatta at the finish,
who said “Today was the first mountain stage of the season, so it was a good
test for the riders. We had two riders in the break, Wegelius and Da Dalto who
went early in the stage, but Leipheimer, Voight, and Horner were motivated to
win the stage. The gap to the bunch was small at the finish so that Pelizotti is
still in a good position on GC (11th overall after Stage 3).
Tomorrow’s stage will be good for Pelizotti and Gasparotto.”
The break. Photo courtesy of Will Swetnam at
During the press
conference after the stage, Jens Voight (CSC) , winner of Stage 3 said, “the
breakaway was working well together, and the gap began increasing up to around 5
minutes, so I thought that we could make it. There was not one rider that I
could point out that was working more or less than any of the other riders."
After the stage, the riders seemed to be in good spirits, albeit tired from the
day's efforts; my observations of the team are that they work well together,
both the riders and support staff. Generally, before the start of the stages,
the team has something to laugh about (probably me, but I will let them have
that privilege) .
Additionally, the team is surprised at the number of
spectators along the stages thus far. The crowds at the last two stages on the KOMs have been large as well as at the starts and finishes; during the circuit
finishes of Stages 1 and 2, the spectators were 6 deep.
During the stage, Curt Davis from Cannondale and I went out
to paint two turns of Sierra Road to support both Health Net and Liquigas.
Earlier, I had asked members of the team how they felt about Cannondale as their
new bike sponsor, and all of them are very pleased with the bikes. Cannondale
has made a considerable effort in order to ensure that Liquigas feels that they
are part of the team, and that the satisfaction of the riders is a top priority.
Liquigas' System Six from Cannondale.
Photo courtesy of Brian Dallas at