By Shane Stokes in Ambri
T-Mobile rider Michael Rogers spent much of yesterday's stage in the break at the Tour de Suisse, finally going ahead in the closing kilometres with Oscar Freire (Rabobank), Salvatore Commesso (Lampre-Fondital) and Matthew White (Discovery Channel). Freire did a neat bunny-hop manoeuvre to open a gap and win the stage, while the other three were caught inside the final kilometre.
Rogers was disappointed to lose out but regarding the bigger picture, he told Cyclingnews this morning that he is satisfied that his form is building.
"The race is getting better for me," he stated. "I started off a bit under par due to the [teeth] problems I had in the Giro but I am getting better and better every day. I hope I can improve a bit more for the Tour, then I should be all right."
"Yesterday was a hard day. Unfortunately we had a bit of a disagreement with Commesso, he wasn't riding at all, so that made things a little difficult. To be caught at 400 metres to go after 210 kilometres in the break is pretty tough. Freire's attack was pretty cool (laughs) - I was sleeping a bit, I didn't see him go... "
Jan Ullrich has been the team leader for the race and heads into the final two stages with a real chance of winning the pre-Tour de France warm-up. That's meant Rogers has had a very different race to last year, when he was second overall.
"I have been doing a lot of team riding in this," he states. "I feel like I need a few good hard efforts. I got plenty of them here, I will take a rest and then should be good.
"Jan's form seems to be good, I think. Hopefully today will suit him and he should be strong in the time trial tomorrow, so hopefully we can come home with an overall win. Even a stage win would be nice.
"As regards my plans for tomorrow, I will try to do my best. I don't know how I will be as I have had two really hard days. I was 210 kilometres in the break yesterday. There is another hard stage on the cards today, but I will see how the legs are and give it a go in the time trial."