With three laps to go, it was Jakob Piil and Spanish rider Oscar Peirero who opened the race and loosened the tight grip the Italians had maintained until then. After that, Piil was one of the main players in what for a long time looked like the decisive break in the battle for the rainbow jersey, and although the finish was decided in a sprint, Piil still had the strength to finish sixth, while Swede and Piil's CSC team-mate took fourth.
"I went for it today and have every reason to be pleased. I opened the race early because I was nervous the Italians would end up controlling everything," said Piil on team-csc.com. "On the whole, I'm happy with my effort today because after the crash in the Vuelta it all looked a little bleak for me. During the last couple of weeks, I've worked very hard to get in shape, and today I proved that I can battle with some of the best
Added CSC team manager Bjarne Riis: "Jakob is in his best shape ever and rode a really amazing world championships. It was a shame the break didn't last all the way, because I think he could've been the new world champion. He had the legs for it today that's for sure. The course wasn't hard enough, but it turned out really exciting towards the end - especially thanks to Jakob, who truly showed class out there. When the riders were together in the end, it was in the cards for Boonen to win and he is definitely a worthy champion."