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Paris Nice - Stage 2 Roundup
By Podofdonny
Date: 3/8/2004
Paris Nice - Stage 2 Roundup

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 explains.

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 here.

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 competitors.

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 contention.

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"
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"

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