Tour de France – Team News.
On his Tour diary Jan Ullrich expresses disappointment at not being given the 5 seconds advantage on his rivals in yesterday’s stage, but the Team are happy to be safely through the 2 sprinters stages and are looking forward to the Team Time Trial having trained on the route as a team. Here is what Jan had to say-
We´ve come through the two sprinting stages intact. That hasn´t always been the case in the past - often we´ve been tangled up in some dangerous sprint showdownsFortunately, not this time around.
Yesterday, the first group which included me, could have gained five seconds advantage on those behind them. That would have been five seconds pegged back on Lance. But the jury decided to award the same time to all the riders. It´s a pity because we had worked relatively hard together to get into the leading group at the finish.
Today too, I´ve stayed with my team colleagues at the front of the field pack and out of trouble. The finale was extremely hectic - fortunately we made it safely to the finish Tours.
Now, our focus switches to the team time trial. Last Wednesday, the whole team trained together on this route so that we´d be as well prepared as possible for this critical battle against the clock.
Of course, Discovery Channel and CSC are the favourites tomorrow. But, we are also keen to impress, with a convincing team performance!
Team CSC report they are happy with todays stage – and why not Zabriskie remains in Yellow and the Team looks good .
Their website reports-
For Team CSC it was a relatively easy stage, where the riders didn't have to use too much strength to retain David Zabriskie's yellow jersey, as the sprinters were very keen to reel in the three escapees Erik Dekker (Rabobank), Rubens Bertogliati (Saunier Duval) and Nicolas Portal (Ag2R), who had escaped after 28 kilometers.
"I felt fine, a little better than yesterday. It's good to get in the rhythm of things, but the pace is extremely fast, even though we got thru the day fairly easy," said Zabriskie.
Liberty Seguros Wurth
The Liberty Seguros-Würth are looking forward to the team time trial and are confidet about getting a good result . Manolo Saiz has been organising specific training for the event and after the results of the first time trial believes that his riders have the form to do a great ride. " I have confidence in my team, though others are more favourite than us to win. Our strength is that we can do this type of event which will leave the riders in a good positon when the mountains come ".
Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano
Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano is the most qualified rider to speak about tomorrow stage. After 2002 team time trial, he managed to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour. " That is the best souvenir I have as cyclist ", he said. Apart from the anecdote, which will be impossible to repeat tomorrow because differences marked on first day, Igor has very clear what can be expected from this stage. " With the compensated times that exist now, it is a question of not losing more than win, because the differences will not be very wide. Of course, we all want to win because here it is where more team image is given and where also people can see in what moment of form each one is ".
" Sincerely, Liberty Seguros-Würth is not the favorite, but we are going to be there together with Phonak, Discovery, CSC and Gerolsteiner, which are the most powerful. We are well and wait to be to their level or maybe better, we will see ". " The key to make one great time trial is to be combined and that every rider goes out to give the maximum, nobody can spare any effort. The order of the tuns in the chain gang is very important also, because the objective is to have a constant pace, a uniform speed, a part the most powerful riders gives longer turns ".
" Now we are lucky because we have not lost any rider in first two stages and the team will be complete. To have nine riders is fundamental for a better recovery between relief and relief, a man less is a big disadvantage , because here does not win the strongest rider, but the team. Armstrong cannot win tomorrow alone, he needs his companions also".
" There are no favorites, except Discovery because it won last year. But we are to the same level that they are, as CSC, Gerolsteiner and Phonak. Anyone can win ".
Luis León Sanchez
The rider form Murcia finished the third stage of his first Tour satisfied with his work, more when Roberto Heras approached him to thank him for having been to his side in the last kilometres. " That Roberto comes to be grateful for the work to me it's a great emotion ", said Luis León. "On last part was wind and Manolo Saiz order to be next to Roberto for if there was some problem, but everything has been OK. Today we had to have care because tomorrow it is an important day and it is necessary to give everything to be ahead. Already three days have passed, but still I am a bit nervous, though as kilometres pass I feel better. The worst is the start, because until the breakaway is not done there is many tension, and also the last 50 kilometres, when the pack goes to the limit looking for the sprint. There is enough danger, but at the moment we are been lucky with falls ".
Not surprisingly the bike manufacturer spares a thought for the mechanics on tomorrows stage. Their website reports
Tomorrow there will be a “great stage”. The Tour will cross the Pyrenees and the Alps later. Let’s talk about the most stage demanding for the mechanics: the team time trial, where everything must work perfectly. The 67,5 kilometres between Tours and Blois will exalt the team spirit of a sport told to be a “solitary” discipline.
Today is the hardest day’s work for the mechanics. They have to look after every bicycle (all the athletes will ride with the Bianchi D2) with the best care, as in the team time trial any error has mathematically repercussions on the other riders’ performances. Bianchi Reparto Corse knows it very well, and has provided every detail to support the mechanics to operate in the best way. The riders will have to do the rest...
Today during the third stage (La Châtaigneraie – Tours) ended with a sprint Eurosport’s cameras got on the Liquigas-Bianchi team car. The special will be broadcasted at 10.00 pm.
Belgian champion Tom Boonen has won again ahead of Wrolich and O’Grady. Robbie McEwen was relegated from the third to the last position of the bunch because of incorrect behaviour. Liquigas-Bianchi’s sprinter, Luciano Pagliarini, too close to the barriers, was satisfied with the 14th position and now is sixth in the special points ranking. Magnus Backstedt was luckier when he got the front just to lead the Brazilian sprint out: he finished 7. All the riders of the green-Celeste team arrived in the peloton but for Swiss Albasini: a light injury to the left thigh delayed him of 24”.