By Hedwig Kröner in Mulhouse
Jan Ullrich's personal advisor, Rudy Pevenage, was happy at the start of today's stage from Gérardmer to Mulhouse. Yesterday's stage outcome and the good appearance of T-Mobile have made him more than hopeful for the coming days. "Stage eight was a good day for T-Mobile, but also a good day for the whole of cycling," he told Cyclingnews. "The Tour has now really started. A lot of people thought that the Tour was over after the team time trial, but we saw yesterday that it's wide open."
T-Mobile's Andreas Klöden and Alexandre Vinokourov both rode aggressively against Lance Armstrong, who was left without teammates on the final climb of the Col de la Schlucht. How surprised was Pevenage at the fact that Armstrong was left alone? "That was quite surprising," he said. "We'll see how Discovery goes today - maybe they just had a bad day but it's definitely not normal. It's never been like this before. And I don't think that it's possible to play at 'make believe' that much," Pevenage added, implicitly responding to the rumour that Discovery Channel had been bluffing to save their riders from wasting energy too soon in the race.