By Susan Westemeyer
You know things have gone badly when the team manager says "Tomorrow is a new day. We'll start all over again." And that's exactly the remark Gerolsteiner's Hans-Michael Holczer made after Thursday's Tour de Suisse stage, undoubtedly a stage he would rather forget. "There are some days that you just don't need. Today was one of them." he said, but added optimistically, "But if that was our bad day for the whole season, that's ok!" Beat Zberg was the chief victim, having a very hard day in his homeland. First he had a mechanical problem, which cost him time. Then, when he finally caught up with the peloton again, he crashed in the feed zone.
"His helmet is totally broken. Beat lay still on the ground for a minute before he rather dazedly got back on his bike and rode on," was how Holczer described it. According to the Swiss newspaper, Tages-Anzeiger Zberg was trying to get his feed bag from the trainer on the right side of the road, when allegedly a car passed him and forced him over to the right, so that the bag caught in his front wheel, causing the crash. The helmet splintered, and he had not only scrapes, but also a bruise on his thigh "so that he could hardly put any more power on the pedals." Zberg finished the stage 74th, 19'41 down, but will start today.
But he wasn't the only victim of the day. The team's other captain, Georg Totschnig "just didn't have his best day," said Holczer diplomatically, as the Austrian climber finished 26th, over 6 minutes behind the winner. The team lost one member, as Marcel Strauss dropped out. And if that wasn't enough, one of the masseurs was involved in an auto accident.
"To be perfectly honest, we had imagined the day to turn out differently," concluded Holczer.