Greatest day for Gonchar in Brittany
Team T-Mobile has had an excellent result today with Serguei Gonchar taking the victory on Le Tour's first long time trial from Saint-Grégoire to Rennes, in Brittany. The Ukrainian proved to be the strongest by far on the flattish course, beating Floyd Landis (Phonak) by one minute, with German TT champ Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner) getting third at 1'04.
"This is definitely the greatest day in my life after the World Championship [in 2000, which he won - ed.]," Gonchar said. "This was completely unexpected for me. I did my time trial to 100 percent, I won, and so I'm very, very happy. Today, everything worked out fine, the legs responded perfectly so it was a real pleasure - while still being very painful."
Neither Team CSC not Discovery Channel were able to live up to the expectations today. Moreover, CSC suffered another loss as Bobby Julich crashed on a roundabout, injuring his right hand. The American was taken to hospital.
"There are apparently no fractures," CSC team director Alain Gallopin said. "Nevertheless, they will keep him overnight and he will have a little surgery to clean the wound properly. You could see the bone and the tendons, so the wound is rather deep.
Another unexpected event today was the bad performance of Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner), who finished over six minutes behind the winner.