By Brecht Decaluwé in Plumelec
As the peloton streamed towards the 'flamme rouge' near Plumelec in stage one of the Tour de France, a desperate attack from Romain Feillu was neutralized by a brutal acceleration from Gerolsteiner's Stefan Schumacher. The German kept the pole position for a while, but he was then caught by a group with Kim Kirchen and Alessandro Ballan.
After being passed, the fading Schumacher could hardly make it up to the finish line to come in twentieth, and he didn't have to say a word to make it clear that he had given everything he had, as his body language said more than enough. After a while he summarized what had killed his effort. "There was too much wind," Schumacher sighed. When asked if he had attacked too early, the bold German agreed. "Too early? Yeah, but that's cycling I guess."
Schumacher wasn't too disappointed and was already looking forward to have another go to glory in the Tour de France. "There are other stages for me, maybe tomorrow. Actually, I'll try everyday," Schumacher smiled and rolled on towards the Gerolsteiner team bus.