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Cycling News Extra for July 23, 2006

Date published:
July 23, 2006, 1:00 BST
  • Rider quotes

    Robbie McEwen (Davitamon)
    Article published:
    July 23, 2006, 1:00 BST
    John Trevorrow and Brecht Decaluwé

    By John Trevorrow and Brecht Decaluwé Stuart O'Grady: JT: How has the tour gone for you Stuart?...

    By John Trevorrow and Brecht Decaluwé

    Stuart O'Grady:

    JT: How has the tour gone for you Stuart?

    SO'G: It's been a tough tour. It's probably been my worst as far as position goes but it's been great having a rider in a position to win the GC. Every day we have a strategy and a plan, it has been a real team. I have had a different role this year and I've done my job since we lost our team captain and now we have Carlos just about on the podium we're pretty pumped I guess.

    JT: A couple of weeks ago you had two broken bones in your back and it looked as if you would not be able to go on. Can you believe you have gone on?

    SO'G: Well, I can tell you at one time I thought I would be in a wheelchair. It really hurt, Ï mean the team has supported me, it has just been phenomenal; without them I don't think I could have done it.

    Simon Gerrans

    JT: This has been you second Tour de France, how do you think it went?

    Simon Gerrans: The first week was pretty good - just out on the flat, then in the second week we got the jersey with Dessel That was a pretty good thing but this last week, I have just been trying to survive a bit but I'm pretty happy with the way we went.

    JT: What's it going to be like for you, riding into Paris?

    SG: It's going to be fantastic getting on to the Champs Elysees for the first time. Everybody has worked so hard, so getting to Paris is going to be something special.

    JT: What has been the highlight of the Tour for you?

    SG: Oh, the team, and Dessel getting the jersey. That's by far been the highlight of the Tour. And having Dessel and Moreau in the top 10 in the GC, of course.

    Some of the riders in the breakaways, that inspired people...

  • A strange yet remarkable Tour

    Floyd Landis (Phonak)
    Article published:
    July 23, 2006, 1:00 BST
    Cycling News

    By John Trevorrow What a magnificent Tour de France. What a deserving champion and what a gallant...

    By John Trevorrow

    What a magnificent Tour de France. What a deserving champion and what a gallant loser.

    Floyd Landis has pulled off one of the most amazing comebacks in any sport and may well challenge the dynasty of his former team boss Lance Armstrong.

    Landis was asked if, when he was Armstrong's teammate, he thought he would one day wear the maillot jaune. "I dreamed of wearing it. I always hoped that I would lead a team and get the opportunity but it takes a lot of hard work from a lot of people, a lot of determination and a bit of luck. Today I feel lucky," an emotional Landis said.

    Landis was raised in a strict Mennonite family and said that his upbringing helped him recover from the disastrous day in the Alps, "I felt only humiliation so I just got angry. I had good parents who taught me the value of hard work and patience."

    Oscar Pereiro was inspiring in the final week. The way he defended in the Alps was stirring stuff and he never looked like folding. His time trial was also full of determination and fire and he kicked and scratched all the way to the line in a huge attempt to keep the maillot jaune.

    It was also a brilliant event for Australia. Cadel Evans was just sensational. His grit and determination were always evident and he never stopped trying. His fifth place now puts him alongside Phil Anderson as the highest placed Australian.

    Robbie McEwen proved himself to be the fastest man in the world and at the time of writing was heading into Paris as the unbackable favourite to win stage number four and the most prestigious of them all on the Champs Elysees.

    Michael Rogers was superb. He managed to join Evans and Phil Anderson as the only Australians to make it into the top 10. But Rogers' effort is all the more creditable because he spent most of the days in the big mountains forcing the pace for teammate Andreas Kloden. Rogers could well have finished top five or even made the podium...

  • Loading up for the final sprint

    Robbie McEwen (Davitamon)
    Article published:
    July 23, 2006, 1:00 BST
    John Trevorrow

    Coming up on Cyclingnews will cover the 96th Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen - 1.HC live on April 15 at...

    Robbie McEwen has all but secured the green jersey as the best sprinter in the race. He simply has to finish today's stage and he will don the green tunic in Paris. John Trevorrow spoke to the rapid Aussie.

    John Trevorrow: That's the hard one out of the way, how do you feel you went?

    Robbie McEwen: Good, you just have to keep a tempo going and make sure you come in under the time limit. You can't cruise. I was out there too long, around an hour and 16 minutes.

    JT: Are you looking forward to tomorrow and what do you expect to happen?

    RMcE: Just try to make it a sprint and win it. The Champs Elysees is a hard place to win. We'll just go out there and see what the tactics are and see what happens.

    JT: With 200 to go following Steegmans, what's it like?

    RMcE: Hard, actually. He's very fast and has a different strength to all the others so I see what happens at the time.

    JT: What was the course like today?

    RMcE: It's a fast course, I hardly pedalled the last five and still averaged 44kmh. I just cruised the last 10. There is one spot about the 10km to go, where the roads seems to go straight ahead but it's actually a left hander and I just got the brakes on in time.

    JT: You mentioned yesterday about the Champs Elysees stage and said it made the hair stand on end?

    RMcE: Yeah, I just keep thinking about it more and more. I just want to get a good night's sleep. Tomorrow's a long day, bus ride, train ride, bus ride, then the stage, so you just have to keep relaxed, enjoy the cruise into Paris turn the switch to on when we hit the Champs Elysees.

    Click here for the full interview.