By Susan Westemeyer
Chris Anker Sørensen was a last-minute addition to CSC's line-up for the Tour de Romandie, but the change proved worthwhile for the team in the race's first stage Wednesday.
The 22 year-old was part of an escape group that managed to stay away for over 100 kilometres. He was absorbed back into the peloton on the last climb.
"Chris made a great effort today and it was perfect to have him up front so the rest of the team could take it easy in the peloton. Unfortunately he had to give up at the end, but it was brilliant the way he showed initiative and had the strength to make the attempt," said Directeur Sportif Scott Sunderland on the team's website, team-csc.com.
Rabobank placed five riders, including Denis Menchov, in the large final group, which finished with the same time as winner Markus Fothen. After Astana lost control of the peloton and the sprinters had been dropped on the final climb, "This resulted in a chaotic and disorganized finale," according to rabobank.nl. Directeur Sportif Erik Dekker called the last 50 kilometres "The Wild West".
Dekker also explained why his team had not sent any riders planned to ride the Giro to the Swiss race. "The cyclists need to report their presence for the start in Italy on Wednesday. Such a difficult stage race is not an ideal preparation. Additionally, most of the teams that participate in the classics are done, so one competes against an entirely different set of riders. That does not make it easier to win here, but it does make it easier to move around in the pack."
T-Mobile had three riders in the final group as well, but unfortunately captain Michael Rogers was not one of them. Serhiy Honchar, Giuseppe Guerini and Michael Barry were able to keep up the tempo and finish with the same time as Fothen. Rogers ended up coming in 13'26" down.
According to Directeur Sportif Jan Schaffrath, "We will take a day-to-day approach. Serhiy Honchar is in good shape and he could go for the GC, but we also want to go for stage wins." He added, at t-mobile-team.com, "We have looked at the different stages, and we will adapt our tactics to succeed on those days."