By Susan Westemeyer
Bernhard Eisel was happy to bring the T-Mobile Team its first win of the season. "This seems to be a good place for me," he said of the Volta ao Algarve, where he won his fourth career stage Thursday.
The Austrian sprinter also moved up to second in the overall classification, only three seconds behind leader Gert Steegmans.
Eisel, like the other sprinters, was keeping an eye on Alessandro Petacchi in the "hectic and neck-breaking finale," he said on the team's website, t-mobile-team.com. "Milram went into the last curve at full risk. Then Petacchi lost the wheel of his lead-out man." Suddenly there was a gap of some 10 meters between the Italian sprinter and his teammates, "a gap that he couldn't close."
But it was a gap that Eisel could take advantage of. "The finale worked out perfectly for me," he said. He "picked out the right wheel to be on," that being David Kopp of Gerolsteiner, and shot by him with 200 meters to go.