The strongest doesn't always win
Rabobank’s Oscar Freire won his third stage in the Tour de France, beating Robbie McEwen on the line in Dax on Tuesday. Afterwards, in the press conference, he explained to the journalists how he appreciated his victory, the second at this year’s Tour. Cyclingnews' Brecht Decaluwé reports.
Q: You didn't celebrate when you crossed the line, why was that?
OF: Well, I didn't know that I had won the race, as McEwen was closing in very fast. Also, there were some experiences in the past where I learned that it’s dangerous the celebrate too soon. In Milan-Sanremo, I won after Zabel raised his arm too early [in 2004]. This year, I was in the losing position when I thought I had won the race, but it turned out that Valverde was the winner [during the first stage of the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco]. Besides that, I didn't celebrate because I didn't know if the breakaway had yet been caught or not.
Q: After your first stage win, you said that you started off too early, and this sprint looked more academic. Is there a sort of sprint you can't win in the Tour de France?
OF: Hmm... a sprint after a mountain stage might be impossible for me (laughs). The sprints over here are very difficult, because nobody shows respect for another. Due to the way the sprints are unfolding, it’s not always the strongest rider who wins the race. For example today, I might not have been the strongest in the race.
Click here to read the full interview.