By Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid
The men's race was a hard defeat for Italy. Neither Alessandro Petacchi or Paolo Bettini could step onto the podium, and neither of them were willing to speak with the press in the end. Unfortunately for the Italians, plan A with Petacchi as the team leader didn’t succeed, nor did plan B with Bettini in the attacks. "It was hard, harder than what everybody thought," said Italy’s Filippo Pozzato to Cyclingnews. "The course was too hard for sprinters like McEwen or Petacchi."
The Belgians were exactly the opposite. Many Belgian and Lion of Flanders flags were waving by the podium celebrating Boonen's huge achievement. Marc Wauters was obviously glad with the team victory. "It was a fast race," Wauters said. "Tom [Boonen] is a very strong rider and he is good sprinter. For the whole team it’s a good work, if you have the world champion in your team, then everybody's happy."
Denmark’s Jakob Piil was finally sixth after getting in the right breakaway. "It was a good race," said Piil who seems to be completely recovered from the hard crash he suffered in the Vuelta a España. "It would have been nice if the race had become difficult a little earlier. I’m glad I finished sixth."
Luis Laverde (Colombia) also shared his thoughts with Cyclingnews. "It was a hard World’s because of the parcours and the number of kilometres," commented Laverde. "It wasn’t a course for us, the Colombians, but we did the best we could."