Jorg Jaksche. Courtesy CSC.
Local knowledge is very handy in bike races. Team CSC once again gave a
demonstration of race tactics and team spirit that many of their rivals would
love to emulate. Team CSC tore the peloton apart - "It was no coincidence at
all, but part of a specific plan," says sports director Kim Andersen. "Alain
Gallopin lives in the area, and he told us, that if the wind came from the
north, this particular stage would at a certain point be very dangerous due to
the strong cross winds."
Seven kilometers before the feedzone, Team CSC sports directors Kim Andersen
and Bjarne Riis told their riders to try to split the peloton.
"In the beginning we actually had seven riders in the lead group of 11. Only
Bobby Julich didn't make it the first time, but he caught up later," Andersen
So CSC end stage 2 with 3 riders in the top 5.
Jorg Jaksche (race leader), Bobby Julich and Jens Voigt are the three
men in the top five, but it is decidedly a team effort.
Bjarne Riis made the following comments after the Tour Méditerranéen - “I
would never dream of underestimating our competitors, but I don't think many
have trained as focused and intense as we have. The results in Tour
Méditerranéen confirm this, it was just amazing to watch. In the decisive team
time trial we were outstanding, and the whole day came together beautifully. We
made no mistakes and both staff and riders were highly professional, which makes
me very proud.
"I won't draw attention to anyone in particular, but I can't help but be
especially proud that Jörg Jaksche won his first professional race as part of
our team. His switch to Team CSC has definitely been a big personal decision for
him, and now he has proven to everyone, that it was the right one.”
At the present moment it is hard to argue with the Great Dane's assessment!
Rebellin. Courtesy Gerolsteiner.
Second overall, and wearing the Green Jersey, Davide Rebellin and team
mate Beat Zberg had been warned by Gerolsteiner Team Directeur Udo Bölts
(a man who knows Riis very well, of course, with them both riding for the
Telekom team), to be prepared for the crosswind attacks. But is Rebellin a
serious contender for the overall?
Not since the heady days of 1996 when Rebellin wore the “maglia rosa” for six
days has anyone seriously considered him a major stage race winner. Then again,
until yesterday no one considered him a time trialist. Rebellin plays it all
down in his typically modest way. He did well in the time trial because he got
“lucky with the weather” on his overall chances
“Compared to this time last season I am a little behind, even so I would like
to win a stage. I have not raced since the Giro di Lucca. I skipped Chiasso and
Lugano, so I could do some intense training to work on a few specific things. At
the end of the day my main target this season is the World Cup. To be honest I
want to take each stage of Paris Nice as it comes, to race without pressure and
maybe pick up a nice result.”
Read a recent profile on Rebellin
Udo Bölts, who raced with Riis on so many great occasions, may now find the
test as a sporting directeur even more challenging now that they are
Frank Vandenbroucke, winner in 1998 and now in third spot, leads the
Fassa Bortolo challenge and has team mate Fabian Cancellara in tenth spot
also in contention. Dario Frigo lost nearly six minutes and so now the team will
presumably back the strongest men. Vandenbroucke may yet come good.
Phonak's Tyler Hamilton started with flu and missed the break today.
Alex Zulle did a great prologue but also missed the break (a bad habit).
Oscar Pereiro has kept the massive investment of the Phonak team hopes
alive. The man can climb and has been one of the strongest team players for
Phonak since he joined them in 2002 from the small Porta Da Ravessa team.
Quick.Step-Davitamon do not miss much. Tom Boonen is sick but Pedro
Horrillo wins the stage and Michael Rogers is still hovering in
Horrillo. Courtesy Phonak.
All said and done, CSC are now in the driving seat. The race to the sun may
have been stolen by Denmark!
General Classification after Stage 2
1 JAKSCHE Jorg CSC 4h 05' 12"
2 REBELLIN Davide GST 00' 06"
3 JULICH Bobby CSC 00' 18"
4 VANDENBROUCKE Frank FAS 00' 22"
5 VOIGT Jens CSC 00' 22"
6 PEREIRO SIO Oscar PHO 00' 25"
7 HORRILLO Pedro QSD 00' 31"
8 ZBERG Beat GST 00' 32"
9 ROGERS Michael QSD 00' 32"
10 CANCELLARA Fabian FAS 00' 34"