By Susan Westemeyer
Things didn't start out so well in the Tour of California for Gerolsteiner's Robert Förster. The prologue was hard, mainly because "we all had problems riding a race in the middle of the night, European time," he noted on his website, robert-foerster.com.
He thought things would be better in the first stage, but the first mountain of the day showed him that "nothing was working for me. Absolutely nothing. The motor was in the red zone, the muscles were as stiff as boards and I was once again practically alone at the end of the field." He caught up with the last group and came into the finish in time to avoid being directly involved in the big crash.
Indirectly, though, he noticed, "We saw the jury's total chaos about the crash. Lots of lapped and crashed riders all mixed up together. Nobody knew any more who had been in what group. And then that the little American got the time of the first group wasn't really a good action. But we are here in America..."
Things went better for the sprinter in the second stage, but he wondered about his finishing position. "Why was I just 12th? I'll be thinking about that question for a while, you can believe me on that." And, he noted, "It's not nice to see how the winner raises his arms in the air, when you're still 20 metres away from the finish."