By Gabriella Ekström
The whole Quick.Step team was spotted riding home from the finish of the third stage in Victor Harbor. It was not a punishment for missing out on the break earlier that day, as some thought, but rather additional training for the riders, as 130 kilometres in the peloton isn't a lot of training for a professional rider warming up for the season.
"We had certainly decided that beforehand," team manager Patrick Lefevere told Cyclingnews before the start of the fourth stage. "However it seemed as if my riders were thinking too much about that training during the stage, because they certainly seemed to save some of their energy for later."
Having said that, it was obvious that Lefevere wasn't overly delighted with the performance of his riders. "I am being asked how it could happen. Well, they were sleeping. That would have been ok if there was only three or four riders in the break, but it's not ok to be the only team that misses the break. I don't really have a problem with it though; it's they who have a problem. I often hear that they don't get a chance to ride for themselves, because they have to ride for Paolo Bettini all the time. We'll, now they have a chance to ride for themselves, and if they had honour [Lefevere claps his chest] they wouldn't throw it away like this. I'd better not catch anyone of them put hair gel in their hair before they start performing."