Editor's Note: The intrepid Peter Cossins reported today from the
press area at Forges les Eaux, which was apparently located in the local
livestock market. Local color (or better, odor), to say the least.
CSC team leader Laurent Jalabert and team boss Bjarne Riis had a meeting
at the teamís hotel in Reims on Wednesday evening to clear the air after
confusion over orders in the team time trial probably cost the Danish team
the stage win and ĎJajaí the yellow jersey. "I wanted to know why one tactic
was decided on before the race and why that wasnít respected during it,"
Jalabert told the French press. "We had been told that we would only wait
for Sastre, Hamilton or myself. But Bjarne thought the best solution was
to wait for SandstodÖ It was a bad tactical decision." For his part, Riis
said: "Iím in charge and itís me who makes the decisions." Later Jalabert
stated that everything had been resolved and the matter forgotten.
More bizarre stories surrounding Frank Vandenbroucke. As a result of
the 18-month ban placed on him by the Flemish ministry of health that will
prevent him riding in Flanders, the recently reinstated Domo rider can
still ride the Tour of the Walloon Regions starting on July 29, but will
need to take care on the stage which touches on the Fouron region on the
border between Flanders and Wallonia. One side of the white line is in
Wallonia, the other in Flanders. Letís hope the windís blowing from the
right side of the road for Frank.
Even without Frank on the race, the Vandenbroucke family is still represented
by former Lotto directeur sportif Jean-Lucís daughter Celine, who is working
as a Coca-Cola hostess with Magalie Lavenu, daughter of Ag2r team boss
Stage 5 crash victim Marco Pinotti has flown back to Italy after spending
a night under observation at Rouen hospital. The Italian went down late
on yesterdayís stage, fracturing his nose, breaking two teeth and receiving
cuts to his face that required 11 stitches. He is set to undergo an operation
to reduce the fracture of his nose once back in Bergamo.
There are more news stories and interviews with Tyler Hamilton and David
Millar on the ProCycling website at www.procycling.com