"That was my worst day so far," wrote Gerolsteiner's Robert Förster in his diary on www.radsportnews.com . He is a sprinter and not a mountain specialist, so he suffered accordingly on Wednesday's stage. He finally made it into the gruppetto on the way down Col Madeleine. "I hung unto the end of the group and prayed, Dear God, let it be over soon. On the climb up Telegraph, "I suffered like a dog. I was so hot, I must have dumped 40 litres of water over my head. I took every bottle that was offered to me, from fans, from other teams."
Unfortunately, there was still another mountain on the agenda. "Then came Galibier. We were knocking on heaven's door. My lights went out with 500 meters left to go. I hadn't eaten enough. Somehow I made it over the pass. On the top I grabbed a jacket from a team worker. Couldn't stop, so rode no-hands at 70 kmh and put it on. Hara kiri."
As if that wasn't enough, "The hotel where we and T-Mobile are staying is falling apart, with miserable rooms. In three weeks it will be torn down, says the hotel boss. Fabian (Wegmann) and I almost burned the place down. We hung our clothes under the lamps to dry out. When we came back from dinner, smoke was coming out from under the door..."
Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer