By Susan Westemeyer
In Tour of California stage 1 Graeme Brown squeaked out a victory of the width of a tire over T-Mobile's Greg Henderson, as a small group which had escaped an earlier crash sprinted in to the finish. Team Manager Erik Breukink was happy for his Australian sprinter, saying "This victory early on in the season is a great boost for his morale and will do him good." Breukink also added that "Graeme was still pondering over what had happened to Tom Steels in Qatar. Although Graeme didn't cause the crash on purpose, the moment goes through his mind from time to time. So this victory is extremely important to him."
Meanwhile, some questions arose as to why some riders involved in the crash were given the same time as the leading group, and others were not. T-Mobile's Gerald Ciolek was one who went down, and according to official results, lost over eight minutes, but the team's website, T-Mobile-team.com, says that he was given the same time as the winner. Gerolsteiner Team Manager Hans-Michael Holczer was confused as well. "I don't understand why, for example, our Oliver Zaugg was given a different time," he said. "The last word has not yet been spoken."
Zaugg was officially recorded as finishing 4'30" minutes down.