By Brecht Decaluwé in Le Grand Bornand
T-Mobile finally got their stage win in the Tour thanks to the heroic efforts of their young German Linus Gerdemann. Gerdemann rode away from his 14 breakaway companions and held more than three minutes on the elite group of favourites who were chasing behind. His team leader Michael Rogers was one of those in the chase group, and was happy to have the chance to sit in the group and let his younger team-mate win.
Team leader Michael Rogers was happy for Gerdemann. "It was a hard day out there and he rode super super strong," Rogers said. "For the team it was perfect. We wanted to have Kirchen, Sinkewitz or Gerdemann up the road so everything went to plan, meanwhile I just stayed protected in the peloton," Rogers explained.
"For me it was good, I suffered over the top a little bit. I was out of water, I suffered a bit from the heat and I wouldn't have minded to jump in the pool," Rogers laughed. Thanks to the breakaway, the stage was not decisive for the GC leaders, but Sunday's run to Tignes will be different. "It's going to be a big day tomorrow," Rogers declared.
T-Mobile's directeur sportif Brian Holm was in the first car that stayed with the main break of the day and included Gerdemann. Holm was upbeat about the day's activities and when asked if he though they would stand a chance he added that "if they have 5 or 6 min mutes at the foot of the Colombière, then maybe they can make it."
After the race an overjoyed Gerdemann told the press that he is back to his regular duties despite being clad in the yellow fleece of the overall classification leader. "We will be riding for Michael [Rogers]. I will have time to celebrate the win after the Tour. Michael is the leader of the team."