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Tour de France - Team news Stage 4
By Podofdonny
Date: 7/5/2005
Tour de France - Team news Stage 4

T Mobile

On his Tour diary Jan Ullrich shows real optimism after the good T Mobile effort which saw the team finish third with a time of 1h11'14", 35 seconds slower than the second placed CSC team. Lance Armstrong’s Discovery Channel ruled the day covering the 67.5km route from Tours to Blois in 1h 11'14", a new Tour record

"Everybody gave it their best. It was an harmonious and disciplined team performance," said a satisfied Jan Ullrich straight after T-Mobile came home. His team's loss to Discovery was later scaled to 30 seconds under the time trial rules for maximum time loss.

T-Mobile team boss Olaf Ludwig also reacted positively to the sterling team performance and result: "We rode a strong time trial and pegged back a lot of time between km 25 and 47. A lot of people didn't have much confidence in us before the team time trial, so it was satisfying."

Speaking in his Tour diary Jan Ullrich said -

Finally a day that gives us hope. Okay, we didn´t come first, but we´ve beaten some of the big favourites for the team time trial. The day began a little earlier than planned with a UCI doping control. On a lighter note, it followed with a small birthday celebration for our sporting manager Valerio Piva. As we broke off for training, we were pleasantly surprised to see a fan club crowded outside our hotel. They created quite an atmosphere with their banners and shouts of support.

Even without this, we were extremely pumped up. At breakfast, I said, "Come on guys, today we´re going to go flat out! Everyone will have to work and give it everything."

Naturally, that also goes for the whole team, not just the riders. In particular, our mechanics have been really in demand. Every bike has to be individually tuned with great precision. Here on the Tour, Dirk Tyteca, Perry Moerman, Pedro Wever and, of course, my brother Stefan perform this vital task. They all have a great deal of experience and are complete pros, whom we have 100% confidence in.

Team CSC

Team CSC could hardly hide their disappointment on their website. With 2 kilometres to go victory seemed within their grasp when the fates went against them – their website reports

Team CSC had the best intermediate times and was on the way to victory in Tuesday's team time trial, but with less than two kilometers to go, David Zabriskie crashed. Zabriskie lost his yellow jersey and Team CSC finished second, less than two seconds behind Discovery Channel.

"We were extremely unlucky and of course we lost everything in that crash. With three kilometers to go we had six seconds on Discovery Channel, so it's obviously a hard blow to lose both the jersey and the stage win like this. On the other hand, it's in tough situations like these we have to stick together as a team and show people what we're made of," said Bjarne Riis after the dramatic finish.

David Zabriskie injured his left thigh and arm and also bruised some ribs, but it is not yet known whether anything is broken. He will undergo an examination by the team doctor later this evening.

After today's stage, six time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel) captured the yellow jersey, while Jens Voigt now leads Team CSC in third place. Ivan Basso sits in 10th overall.

Liberty Seguros Wurth

Liberty Seguros very happy with their Team’s effort today. Their website reports-

Liberty Seguros-Würth came out of the team time trial with renewed strength, in which it marked the fourth best time, immediately behind the main favourites and 53 seconds behind Discovery, the winning team. After the time compensation that is applied in the Tour de France, the losses diminished further, to 40 seconds behind the Americans, that meant that Roberto Heras, the team's leader, came out of this stage in a pretty good position in the general, where he is now 36th, 2:58 behind Armstrong.

In the overall classification, the best rider continues to be Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (1:44), followed by Luis León Sanchez (2:17), Alberto Contador (2:35) and Joseba Beloki (2:43). In fact, Beloki is the rider that came out best from this time trial, because he has proved that he came to the Tour practically recovered from his two-year break, after the terrible fall he suffered in the already famous descent of The Rochette height. Before the mountain, where Liberty Seguros-Würth's leaders will finally be on their terrain, the balance is very positive.

Evidence of this was that Manolo Saiz and Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano mutually congratulated each other at the end of the stage, in which Liberty Seguros-Würth recovered its status in the Tour de France, momentarily lost after its poor performance in the Dauphiné Libéré and the bad memory of the 2004 Tour. Besides, Galdeano today became the great rider that he has always been and he was the essential pillar of the team in the speciality that he does best.

Roberto Heras also finished the race very satisfied, because in a speciality that is not his forte, he kept up with the pace and did his part of the work perfectly. For him, after he had a bad Tour from the first day last year, to feel the same as he did in the Vuelta a España is the best news. The challenge now is to keep this distance from the yellow maillot until the Alps, which should allow him to climb to the top positions in the overall, something that the born-again Joseba Beloki does not rule out either.

Manolo Saiz:

" We did a good time trial, it was very long and very different for us, we ran the risk of the climbers being pushed too hard at the beginning and just making it to the finish, but we had no other choice. In the end they all did a great race and I am very happy with my men ".

" With a tail wind, the differences are smaller, however there were some. I think we did an extraordinary race, because we were not the favourites and we managed to ensure that Roberto Heras came out of this in a good position. Now the objective is to maintain it until the mountain ".

"Contador got left behind at one point, but he himself got back into the team. His problem is that he pedals with much more agility than the rest and therefore does double the work, it is more difficult to get on the wheel, but even so he did a great stage. Of all the strong teams, we were the worst on paper, but the key to doing a team time trial is homogeneity and we did it very well. The key is to hope that one of the non-specialists has a great day, but that wasn’t the case. My nine riders looked very good, but the difference was that none of them excelled. Also, we rode for Heras, our leader. Now we have to get to the mountain in one piece, that would be the best news, apart from the fact that our morale is much higher now ".

Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano:

" Before the start there were doubts about us after our poor performance in the Dauphiné, but we knew that the team was good and we were confident. This is a very positive result for us, we have proven that the Tour is another story, and I, personally, am happy because I am beginning to feel good after having gone through a very difficult time ".

Liquigas Bianchi

The Liquigas Bianchi team were happy with a tenth place that saw their best placed rider Dario Cioni ending the day 3’24” down on General Classification

Liquigas-Bianchi finished tenth at the end of 67.5-km trial at a average speed of 55 km/h: a good Team Time Trial for the team because the result wasn’t too far from the performances of the “motor” teams (Discovery, CSC and T-Mobile) and they ended ahead of several strong teams.

Moreover, all the nine riders got together to the finish whithout leaving behind any “wagon” as many other teams did: the team is indeed a united and well-matched one.

After ending the trial, the green-Celeste riders showed their happiness embracing and slapping one another on the back. This great team spirit will lead far. They were happy to have scored the best partial time at the end of a crescendo trial and even more glad to have done their best.

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