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94th Tour de France - Stage 2 Team Comments & Photos
 
By Staff
Date: 7/9/2007
94th Tour de France - Stage 2 Team Comments & Photos
 

94th Tour de France -  Stage 2 Team Comments & Photos
Cancellara Feeling Yellow! Caisse d'Epargne, Saunier Duval/Prodir and Lampre/Fondital team and rider comments after the crash in Ghent.


Fabian Cancellara gets his second yellow jersey after a rough day getting caught up behind the crash in the final kilometre today. Photo © Fotoreporter Sirotti

Cancellara Still in Yellow in Spite of Crash
Fabian Cancellara was able to hang on to the yellow leader's jersey for at least another day following the 168.5-kilometer second stage of Tour de France from Dunkerque to Gand. This in spite of the fact that he was one of 15 riders, who crashed with only one kilometer to go.

A Milram rider crashed in front of Cancellara and within seconds the entire road was blocked by riders lying on the asphalt, so the rest of the peloton was forced to sit back and wait while the 25 riders, who were ahead of the crash, fought for the victory.

Cancellara crashed sideways into one of the other riders and hurt his hand, so he had other things on his mind than Quick Step's double victory up ahead, where Geert Steegmans finished in front of team captain Tom Boonen.

"Immediately after the crash I was scared that I was seriously injured, because I seemed to hurt everywhere. But it was probably the surprise of the impact and the fact that it was cold and I was wet, so when I was lying there on the road among all the other guys I did think the worst for a minute. But after I finished the stage and got some dry clothes on and got warm, I felt fine again," said Fabian Cancellara, who was pleased by the overall result of the day.


Cancellara feeling yellow as he said in an interview you can hear on Team CSC Official Fan Club - Photo  © Team CSC & Tim De Waele 

"All in all we're happy about another day in yellow. The teamwork is perfect so far and we're all in a great mood, so no complaints about the Tour from us as yet," said Cancellara.

He was only one of three Team CSC riders involved in a crash as both Fränk Schleck and Kurt-Asle Arvesen were in two separate crashes earlier in the stage.

"They've both got some cuts and bruises, but nothing serious. Fränk hurt his elbow, but it's not broken – just sore," explained Kim Andersen, who would like more help from the other teams during the third stage.

"Tomorrow is a very long day, so we'll need some help if we're going to prevent a break from lasting all the way home. 168 kilometers like today is easy enough, but tomorrow is 230 kilometers and we're not gonna pull the peloton for that long that's for sure," determined Kim Andersen.

The Crash:
The lead out was heading up the left side of the straightway. Then the lead out began to move over to the right side of the road. As that happened, the Milram man on Boonen's wheel seemed to hit Boonen's back wheel and bounce strongly to the right. This swept the front wheel of another rider. The Milram man didn't go down, but the other rider did. This initial crash drove a bunch of guys into the barriers, and then the men behind tried to go around on the left. However, the crash quickly spread across the whole road and a lot of men went down hard.

That last uphill for the finish was pretty hard. It caught a lot of the sprinters who made it around the crash by surprise. A great result for Belgium today, in Belgium.  McEwen was one of the first in there after the finish to congratulate Steegmans. Of course Steegmans used to ride for McEwen. Great sportsmanship there by Robby.
More here.


The survivors of the crash come up the rise to the finish at 500 meters.
Photo © Fotoreporter Sirotti


Gert Steegmans wins the stage on the strength of his lead out; Tom Boonen celebrates his mates victory. Boonen stepped into the Maillot Vert of points leader.  Photo © Fotoreporter Sirotti


Alejandro Valverde and Oscar Pereiro at the start of the race today.

Caisse d'Epargne
A big crash happened in the finish and many riders were involved. Fortunately, none of Eusebio Unzúe’s riders was involved in that same crash.

Team manager  Eusebio Unzúe declared,  “We knew that the stage would be a very difficult one because of the wind and the rain. At the finish there was also the tension provoked by the preparation of the sprint and there was a spectacular crash. For us, fortunately, the day was not so bad. As for now, our main goal is to avoid the crashes and to avoid losing time. The day was ok for us, except for Xabier Zandio who finished the stage with a very painful wrist as a consequence of his crash of yesterday. This evening we will go to the hospital so that he can have an X-ray, hoping that nothing is broken and that he can go on with tranquility.”

As for him, Oscar Pereiro explained: “The public was incredible here on the Belgian roads and it was something very beautiful, but at the same time very dangerous because sometimes the people were standing in the middle of the road. It was the typical Belgian stage, with a lot of wind, that requires being very cautious, but at the end everything was ok for us. What is very dangerous in such a stage is that a crash or a break can always make that you lose plenty of time, but we were lucky and arrived in good conditions in Ghent.”

Saunier Duval/Prodir Red Birds Report
Ventoso Caught Behind Crash

Saunier Duval/Prodir's sprinter Fran Ventoso had his hopes dashed when he was caught behind the crash today.

The crash left only 20 riders in the lead. Ventoso sustained multiple bruises and severely hit his right hip; he'll be examined by doctors in the next few hours. The Spanish rider hopes to be in good shape for stage 3 tomorrow, from Waregem to Compiègne. The longest leg in this year´s Tour (236.5 kilometres) features a single climb, Côte de Blérancourt (cat. 4, Km. 202), where David Millar will have to defend his right to wear the polka-dot jersey.

Fran Ventoso: ”I just couldn´t avoid the crash. I tried to brake, but there was nowhere I could ride ahead. And even if I´d managed to stay on my bike, I would´ve been caught by those coming behind. I was feeling good and confident, well-placed, but this is what you expect of this kind of finales. I fell on my bike, and I think most of my injuries came from hitting it. I´ve injured my knee and my elbow, and my hand hurts badly, I can´t rest it on a table. But I´m really worried about my hip. I hope it´s nothing serious, but I can tell I´m having a hard time walking.”

Luckily the Red Birds can sing for David Millar third on the General Classification and King of the Mountains leader.


David Millar in the "Maillot Blanc à Pois Rouges" - polka dot jersey of climbers competition points leader. Photo  © Team CSC & Tim De Waele 

"Now, my aim is keeping the KOM jersey on my shoulders. And I believe that, if things go well, I´ll be able to wear it at least until we come to the Alps."

Lampre/Fondital
Napolitano and Bennati Fall

Lampre-Fondital duo of sprinters were riding in the first part of the bunch when a contact in the lead positions caused the fall: Bennati couldn't avoid hitting the ground, and Napolitano too. But this Napolitano was a little bit luckier because he fell on another rider, avoiding injuries.

Bennati crossed the finish line with wounds on the hand and on the right arm and with bruised ribs: he went to Gent hospital for medical checks, that showed no fractured ribs.
 

 
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