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CSC surprises itself in Catalunya

The CSC team was somewhat surprised to find Fabian Cancellara still in the lead after the 147-kilometer second stage of the Volta a Catalunya, won by Luis Pérez (Andalucía-Paul Versan).

Finishing in 47th place with the main peloton, just 12 seconds behind Perez, was enough for Cancellara to maintain a three second lead over Vladimir Karpets (Caisse d'Epargne) even though that hadn't been the team's plan.

"We didn't actually think we'd keep the lead, because there were so many steep climbs in today's stage, so we'd agreed on the fact that we weren't out to defend the jersey," said CSC directeur sportif Kim Andersen. "At one point [the break containing Perez] had 11 minutes on the rest of the peloton and everyone was just sitting there waiting for us to reel them in, but we weren't prepared to use up all our energy to do that. Then Caisse d'Epargne went after them and managed to reduce the lead to about five minutes, but they couldn't keep it up, so the gap increased again until Lampre took charge, and in the end Perez was only a few meters ahead."

Andersen thinks the team may keep the lead in Catalunya a little longer. "Wednesday's stage isn't actually that hilly, so it's not entirely impossible that Fabian is able to hang on to the jersey for one more day, he said, "but it's not something we're prepared to bust our guts for."

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