By Brecht Decaluwe in Gap
Boogerd and Rasmussen are the two strong lieutenants of Menchov in the mountains. At the same time, they also appear to have the same personal goal: the polka dotted jersey. We asked the coach of the Rabobank team, Erik Breukink, what he thought about Boogerd's efforts on the climbs today.
"It appears as it isn't costing him much energy. Nobody seems to be sprinting for those points. I'm really not worried about the polka dotted jersey, as there is only one goal and that is Menchov."
We could reassure Breukink that Boogerd said the same thing: "I hope they keep saying that, otherwise they are making a mess of the team tactics. They can keep taking points as long as they don't need to do much effort for it." We also asked the Rabobank coach about Oscar Freire's performance. He was expected to take a lot of points back for the green jersey today, certainly because the Spanish sprinter climbed very well during the previous stages. Sadly though, Freire couldn't remain in front, so the green jersey looks far away for him.
"As long as McEwen remains in the race, the green jersey is almost impossible," conceded Breukink. "If McEwen would pull out of the race, then everything is close together behind him." Voices in the press room are guessing that Freire probably will pull out of the race tomorrow. He is thought to be unhappy that he wasn't allowed to chase Popovych during the stage towards Montélimar. Of course, these are rumours, but we asked Erik Breukink what he thought about it.
"He's working for the team by carrying water bottles," he answered. "He also tried to remain in the first bunch, but it was very hard and hot today. At one point most of the sprinters had to let the bunch go, and it was the same for him."