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A look at the school, the races and the future of this unique 'sport'
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Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana): "The rise to the Télégraphe top was already very difficult. Then in...
Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana): "The rise to the Télégraphe top was already very difficult. Then in the Galibier I had pains everywhere. The team worked perfect for me. I gave and did all I could, but my knees were hurting me so much. It was once again a misery's day for me…"
Mario Kummer (Astana): "For the team, the most important was not to loose contact with the 'yellow jersey' group. When we saw that Vino was asking for the race's doctor in the Galibier and that he couldn't follow, Andreas Klöden stayed alone with the first group. He rode very well : the great class! Inglinskiy and Kashechkin also made a great job to help Vino. The Tour isn't over yet. We'll have to see in the next time-trial. According to me, for Vino, the most important is his health."
Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne): "I attacked in the Galibier because I realized that Vinokourov was in difficulty. I felt well, with good legs to attack, and in such circumstances I knew I had to go without hesitating. I believe to have proven that I am not a rider who does not take the initiative, like it has been said and that when there is an opportunity to attack, I do it! I have the chance to can rely on an extraordinary team, with Iván Gutiérrez, which achieved an exceptional work to help me. When Contador attacked, I did not panic because I knew that Iván was in front. It was better to climb at my own rhythm and then realize a super descent. It is sure that it would have been nice to win the stage too but I am very satisfied with the development of the stage."
Iván Gutiérrez (Caisse d'Epargne): "I had a very good day, which enabled me to achieve that job today. We have a very good team, with riders of great quality, and today, being in front of the race, I did all that I could to help Alejandro to progress in the general classification. I came to the Tour in good condition, in order to help my team-mates. I made my best till now and I hope to be able to continue like that in the next ones."
Kim Andersen (Team CSC team manager): "Carlos did great today. He's feeling better and better. Fränk wasn't able to stay up front today, but that might mean that he'll be allowed to escape in the next couple of days. He had great help from Vande Velde out there and the whole team is looking really good actually, so I think it'll be a successful second half of Tour de France for us."
Simon Gerrans (AG2r Prévoyance): "I had a bit of a Barry Crocker (shocker) today. Strangely, I didn't recover from the rest day. To make things worse, I dropped my chain at the bottom of the Telegraphe, went straight out the back and that's where I stayed. Finished in the grupetto."
Michael Boogerd (Rabobank): "It is and will always be a recurring phenomenon for me. I can always do a little less after a rest day."
Erik Breukink (Rabobank team manager): "Denis dropped the ball but there is nothing you can do about it. He just did not have a very good day and you cannot get away with that on this level. Because Rasmussen was exceptional and the team performed admirably today. Michael Boogerd and Thomas Dekker were strong on the Galibier. They were able to keep the pace tight for a long time there. The first attacks by the favorites were bound to come sooner or later, and the longer that did not happen, the better it was for us. They eventually started seven kilometers from the top and that was later than I had feared. Boogie and Thomas dropped off at that moment and it was every man for himself from then on."
Alberto Contador (Discovery Channel): "It is true that we were looking for a stage victory with Gusev, Hincapie or Popovich, but I was a bit surprised that nobody moved on the Galibier. I was expecting to see Moreau and Mayo try and when it didn’t happen like that, I decided to attack with five kilometres remaining.
We then had a headwind for the final 40 kilometres so it was not to be, but at least we gave a nice spectacle. There were big favourites who have lost minutes in the general classification, like Schleck, Kashechkin, Vinokourov or Menchov and I was also interested in that happening.
Besides, among all of us we have to try to ensure that the stages were not boring. We were caught by the leader's group, but I believe that our manoeuvre has been profitable enough. You never know what can happen in the Tour and those that lost time today could make me lose it later." "
Johan Bruyneel (Discovery Channel team manager): "Our first idea for today was to establish a break away that could go to the finish. So Popo and Gusev were feeling good in the first group. Unfortunately Astarloza was in that group and he was only five minutes down on GC so they couldn’t get the lead they needed to make that work. After that, Popo and Gusev just wanted to get over the climb of the Galibier since we weren’t sure what would happen next."