While Petacchi had nothing but praise for the strong Tom Boonen and his team, an odd remark made by the Australian favourite Robbie McEwen was taken note of by the Belgian newspapers.
"There's no excuses," he was quoted saying. " The best riders were in the front. I wasn't there because I wasn't able to. A gap of fifty metres was left and if I had made the effort to close it myself, I would have waisted my chances for the final sprint. I gambled and lost. That it is Boonen who won doesn't surprise me. I knew that Boonen was very strong. The Australian team has done an excellent job for me. We took our responsibility. I have to get this off my chest though: I'm less impressed with the Belgians: the team that worked the least here in Madrid is taking off with the prize!"
Courtesy of Sabine Sunderland