A depressed Kevin Seeldraeyers finished 95th at 2'29" back in Tuesday's second stage of the Dauphiné Libéré. He was depressed because he had good chances of finishing in the top three, if not winning the stage -- that is, until his chain broke with only six kilometres to go while he was in the three-man lead group.
He might have had good chances of winning the stage, too. "With all the work that the young Belgian did, he deserved the win," said stage winner and new race leader Christophe Moreau, who wasn't surprised at the Quickstep rider's performance. "I knew him from the Volta a Catalunya. He did some very strong turns in the ride up to Andorra - Arinsal."
The 20 year-old neo-pro said that "I was afraid of my first year. I didn't know what to expect. I anticipated Moreau's escape today. The third-category climb suited me, but I waited to get the OK from the team car. And then on that descent, 'tik tik tik,' then a crack and the chain went," he explained. "Now everyone knows what I am capable of, but the disappointment is there."
Team manager Patrick Lefevere said that the team does not have a problem with its material, but calls the recent run of problems "voodoo." A flat tyre for Gert Steegmans, a broken wheel for Kevin Hulsmans and Seeldraeyers' chain problem cost the team two stage wins, he claimed. "More than half the peloton rides with this chain. Seven ProTour teams use the wheels. This has nothing to do with our bike constructor. And the mechanics can't do anything about it. The voodoo against us may stop any time now."