Knaven's view on week 1

Even though he's not part of the Quick.Step team in the tour, Servais Knaven, team mate of Tom...

Even though he's not part of the Quick.Step team in the tour, Servais Knaven, team mate of Tom Boonen has got a clear view on what's happening in the Tour de France's peloton. "The first week there were few surprises: every day a small group got away and the peloton brought it back under the command of the sprinters' teams," Knaven wrote on wieleruitslagen.be. Now and again it was exciting to see, and it looked like the leaders would stay away, but from experience I know that the peloton knows exactly what they are doing."

The lack of a victory for his team is something he attributes to the absence of the Petacchi-train. "Tom Boonen was in yellow for four days, but fell short in the sprints. It's a real pity for Tom and the team; they certainly deserve a win as they did so much work, but things don't work like that.

"The finale is quite chaotic, the speed isn't high enough, and that's why riders can come and sprint from behind. If you're at the front at that moment, it's impossible to counter these men. According to me, the chaos is caused because there's no Petacchi train here. Those men can ride that fast in the last five km that there's not one rider able to move up any more. Now the peloton looks like a ball rolling to the finish line.

"The saddest thing during this first week was the heavy crash Erik Dekker had (and also the one of Tour favourite Valverde of course). Erik was riding his last Tour and to have to say goodbye in such a way leaves a sour taste. I had expected Erik to do really well in the last week and who knows, he might have been able to even win a stage. Luckily he's doing a bit better already and I believe he'll be racing again in a couple of weeks."

Knaven tipped Floyd Landis to win overall. "Because a few of the favourites were out before the Tour even started, it promises to be wide open. There's no real big favourite for the overall win in my eyes, but I do think that Floyd Landis has got a small advantage over the other candidates.

"Today is the first rest day in Bordeaux and on Tuesday the peloton rides from Bordeaux to Dax. Three years ago I won that stage, which went from Dax to Bordeaux then. It's quite strange not to be part of it," he concluded.

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