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Down, but not out: Team CSC

Jens Voigt, CSC powerhouse

Jens Voigt, CSC powerhouse (Image credit: Jon Devich)

At the CSC press conference on the first of two rest days at the Tour de France, one got the impression that the a team was looking to get back on its feet after being deprived of its leader, Ivan Basso. The feeling even more so reigned as the squad had not shown itself much in the first week of racing, and as more unfortunate events (the crashes of Stuart O'Grady and Bobby Julich, who had to abandon) prevented the riders from refocusing on their new tasks ahead. Hedwig Kröner reports from Bordeaux.

Jens Voigt, of course, was the first to defend his team's achievements. "We were not present in the race?," he asked back. "Well, it was rather smart of us that you didn't see us in this first week. What's the point in wasting your energy in some desperate breakaway which is not going to be successful anyway? If we go, we go for the win, and many of these stages were sure to end in a bunch sprint."

Sports director Kim Andersen, responding to the journalists' questions in the place of Bjarne Riis, who had taken "a day off" agreed with his rider, and said that the team's morale couldn't be better.

"We are here to work, and we work with the people who are here," he described the situation after having had to suspend the team leader, Tour de France favourite Ivan Basso, even before the race had started. "I think everybody is really motivated, we do the best we can and more we cannot do. The race start was difficult, and now we have to move on. We have Carlos Sastre to protect for the GC, and we can go for stage wins. I'm sure you will see good results from us before the end of the race."

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