By Brecht Decaluwé in Valkenburg, Netherlands
Steffen Wesemann was probably the strongest man in the race today but had to settle for second place. "Knowing that I was alone in the lead for such a long time makes it easier to be happy with that second place," Wesemann said. "I really felt that I was the strongest man in the race. Despite the team didn't get the win at the end, I'm happy with my performance."
Wesemann attacked with some 40km to go, which looked like a bit of a mission impossible at first: "It looked impossible, but I wanted to do something if we wanted to unrest the force of the Rabobank team. They had to offer some riders in the pursuit; then the race was on for everyone. Why not attack, because you never know how it's going to end up?" he said.
The Swiss-German rider from the T-Mobile team added couldn't ride how he wanted to in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix because some health problems: "In Milano-Sanremo, I became ill and had to take antibiotics. I kept training and racing and that was wrong. With the Tour of Flanders coming up, I acknowledged that I had to do be smart if I wanted to get some results in my races. I skipped the Tour of Flanders and had some rest for four days in a row; then I raced in Paris-Roubaix. After Paris-Roubaix, I did some specific training on a route near my place, with the goal to be in form at the Amstel Gold Race."
With his fitness level right now, 'Wese' believes he can do well in the other Ardennes classics: "My form is alright, so I'll give my very best in Liège," he said.