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Stage 11 - Rider Comments from Belgium
By Celine Tytgadt
Date: 7/19/2002
Stage 11 - Rider Comments from Belgium

Axel Merckx: Going for stage wins

"I'm not interested in the GC. It's only the first mountain stage anyway. I need to wait how I recover from these efforts. (Axel finished 22nd and first Belgian) On the flats, I recoved very well. I aim for a stage win. Today went too fast anyway to try what so ever. I hope that I can keep this condition 'till the end of the tour."

Nico Mattan: I fell on the descent of the Aubisque

"All of a sudden my brakes didn't have any grip on the new carbon wheels. I was going at 60 km an hour through a curve and ended up beside the road. If I would have slided one meter further on I was in the ravine 300 meters below. My back is completely blocked. This is going to be a painfull night"

Dave Bruylandts: Weak legs

"I had a rough night, got up with horrible legs and a soar throat. On the Aubisque, I didn't push it anymore. What does it matter if you arrive here 25th but you're dead? In a flat stage you can easily hide in the peloton, not in the mountains. I hope that it will get better soon and that I can show something. The Mont Ventoux will be raced on our national holiday. That appeals to me."

Fabien De Waele: a miracle

"If I don't feel better tomorrow, then I'm afraid my tour will be over. What I did today uphill wasn't climbing, but crawlling. Still, I need to feel happy that I'm here. In the descent of the Aubisque I broke my stem. To be honest, I still don't understand how I managed to stay upright. A real miracle."

Robbie McEwen: Strong from Zabel

"Strong performance from Zabel. I was hoping that another breakaway would form to take the points from the intermediate sprint. But Zabel's not finished with me, you don't win the green jersey in the mountains!"

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