By Susan Westemeyer
Fabian Wegmann gave his all in the finale of La Flèche Wallonne, escaping with two other riders at 10 km to go and suffering alone on the dreaded Mur de Huy in the pouring rain, only to be overtaken by the favourites with 500 metres to go and finish down in 30th place.
The 27 year-old was very disappointed that his hard work wasn't rewarded, but a day later was able to look at it more objectively. "This attack came at just the right time," he told Cyclingnews Thursday morning. "The race was harder than usual because of the weather and the teams which had to work all day weren't so fresh any more. With Larsson and Efimkin I had exactly the right people with me – they can really go fast. I think if the three of us had gone into the last kilometre with 30 seconds, we could have made it."
However, Larsson crashed on a left-hand hairpin curve, holding up Efimkin who was behind him and who was then unable to catch up again with the leading Wegmann on the Mur. "That was just bad luck," he added. "I had really good legs, in a normal sprint it would probably have been good enough for a top-10 finish. But today, after a good night's sleep, I find that I did everything right. The race is a good one for me. I'll just have to keep on trying."
Gerolsteiner directeur sportif Christian Henn praised the German champion, whose white kit was no longer white as he suffered his way up the Mur de Huy. "Even if it didn't work out, Fabian can be proud of himself," said Henn. "Some day he will be rewarded for his aggressive riding style, will have the luck he deserves and will win one of these things."