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Stage 6 Roundup
Denis Menchov honours Spain, Jörg Jaksche still in yellow, Rebellin stage
Denis Menchov. Courtesy Illes Balears - Banesto
Jörg Jaksche (CSC) remains on course for victory in the race to the sun. On the
6th stage with three first cat mountain climbs over 172,5km between Rasteau and
Gap in the Dauphiné-Alps, he defended the yellow jersey he has worn since the
On a day shadowed by the bombings in Madrid, which saw the riders observe a
minute's silence at the start and the Spanish riders and teams wearing black
ribbons, it was perhaps fitting that the victory went Denis Menchov (Illes
Balears - Banesto). The best young rider in last year's Tour de France won an
exciting 4 man sprint between Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel), Floyd Landis (US
Postal) (who suffered a mechanical in the last few metres) and Dave Bruylandts.
"My first thoughts are to the victims of the bomb attacks in Madrid. I
dedicate my victory to them. I live in Spain and I like the country very much. I
was deeply moved to hear of the terrible events,” said Menchov.
The Illes Balears Banesto team, joining other Spanish teams that have done
the same, issued this statement today:
Team Illes Balears – Banesto joins in the unanimous condemnation of the
terrorist bomb attacks in Madrid, expressing its heartfelt condolences and
solidarity with the victims, their relatives and friends, and all its best
wishes of recovering for the hundreds of wounded.
Menchov continued: "It was not easy
today, I had to make a great effort on what was a difficult stage. I wanted to
win a stage after I missed the break on Monday and lost the chance for a good
overall position. In the closing stages there were many attacks but I kept calm
and trusted that I could win the sprint”.
Meanwhile, the combined efforts of Kim Kirchen and Frack Vandenbroucke on the
final climb of the Col de Manse finally hurt the CSC team, leaving Jörg Jaksche
for once on his own. He responded magnificently to the attacks, and kept a lid
on things –
“We showed that we still have one of the best teams when it comes to
climbing. Jörg did what he could to increase his lead on Rebellin. Today we did
a good job in a stage difficult to control, but we have reason to be satisfied
with so many of our riders among the best. The overall victory is still within
reach,” said Bjarne Riis.
Jörg Jaksche is well aware that there are two more difficult days ahead.
"It's not over even if I think that today was the most difficult stage. My
main concern is Sunday's stage, the last day. Vandenbroucke is getting stronger
and stronger and I would have liked to have a bit more of a lead on Rebellin."
Davide Rebellin remains in second place, although he lost 4 seconds on the
“The last two mountains were hard. I tried on a couple of times to attack but
never really got away. On the last climb we had to neutralize the good attack by
Frank Vandenbroucke. I am happy with how the race is going in spite of the bad
weather – there are still two days to go. I am still hoping for a stage
Bobby Julich and Jens Voigt continue the CSC domination of the top five while
Franck Vandenbroucke looked very impressive today. Former team mate Bartoli made
the following observations -
"I think that Frank is in great form but not yet at one hundred percent, I am
certain that he will get better, his riding in the Paris Nice is excellent
preparation for the Classics. It will be good if he can regain his form of
previous years; cycling needs a rider of his class, and duels between talented
Meanwhile George Hincapie, not on anyone's list of favourites before the
race, remains in fifth place after a good day for the US Postal Service.
Tomorrow's penultimate stage is another day of climbing while
the peloton moves toward the sea. There are seven categorized climbs - four cat
3's, two cat 1's and a final cat 2 less than 20 km before the run in to Cannes.
The next two days will be very interesting….