Davide 'Tin-Tin' Rebellin took over the Paris-Nice leadership after a demanding stage four finale in which he was only bettered by Alberto Contador of Discovery Channel. After a solid first three days and the time gained in stage four, the Italian from Veneto took the overall leader's Maillot Jaune, with six seconds on the Spaniard and 23 on Tadej Valjavec (Lampre-Fondital).
"I did not know this climb," admitted 35 year-old Rebellin to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "But I had seen that it was going to be short and hard; suited to my strengths. When Contador attacked I was not able to go with him. And now I am expecting a lot of attacks.
"I have a good team but to resist will be tough." Tin-Tin is no stranger to overall race wins; last year he won the Brixia Tour and in 2001 he took the final in Tirreno-Adriatico. He clarified to Cyclingnews, "I came here to win, and I feel strong enough for doing so but it's still hard to beat teams like Discovery and CSC. I also have a good team but we'll have to look carefully at every attack."
"I had forgotten about Rebellin," added Contador to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Now he will be the man to beat. There is still time to attack him."
On the road the American team quickly worked out its captain. "At thirty kilometres to go Leipheimer asked me how I was, then he gave me my space to try something. I signed for this team to be one of the captains," finished the 24 year-old.