Jörg Jaksche and his Liberty Seguros team manager Manolo Saiz both reported themselves as being content with the German's performance on the first Pyrenean stage today.
Jaksche fought back from being in difficulty on the Port de Pailhères, regaining contact with the Maillot Jaune group on the descent and then finishing thirteenth at the summit finish of Ax-3 Domaines. He crossed the line just ahead of Australian Cadel Evans (Davitamon Lotto), 4'03 after stage winner Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) but, importantly, moved one place to 11th overall. He is now getting close to his aim of a top ten place in GC.
"I felt very bad at the beginning of the Port de Pailhères, but then I managed to recover and felt much better at the end. I went flat out on the descent to try to catch the front group but didn't manage to do so until the beginning of the final climb, Ax 3 Domaines. It was hard for me to get my rhythm again on that mountain but I am satisfied with how I did. All that said, it is too early to speak about the final result because a very difficult stage will take place tomorrow and everything will depend on what T-Mobile does. If attack like that again the stage will be very hard."
"I am very satisfied with the performance of Jörg Jaksche," said Saiz. "He was very very good and I am equally happy with the work done by Contador and Serrano, who helped him when they could. For us, the question is what would have happened if Heras was good, because the rest of the team is working at a good level. The young riders, Contador, Luis León and Davis, have been having a good race."
"From this point on we are going to think more about the future! Robert is not at his best, that's true, but one cannot fault him because he was very motivated coming into the Tour and he had prepared well for the Tour. What happened is that he has simply not been able to be up front."