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Jaksche "dead"

Liberty Seguros's Jörg Jaksche was the last survivor of the early break and battled to stay away on the climb to Courchevel, launching a brave final solo attack 4km into the climb. It was not to be, as he was caught with 10km to go. Jaksche still managed to stay with the Ullrich/Landis Klöden group, eventually finishing the stage 2;19" behind Valverde and Armstrong.

Describing his condition after the stage in a team press release, Jaksche said, "Now I am dead, dead, dead! I did a brutal effort to try to win the stage, but I knew that it would be very difficult. When they caught me I tried to continue and in the end I have not lost too much time. I am satisfied with that, but I would have liked to have won, and for the team to have finished better."

Jaksche's team-mates Roberto Heras and Joseba Beloki both had sufficiently bad days that it wall take a miracle to put them into any sort of contention for podium places. Heras finished 42nd, 9'49" down, and now lies 36th on GC at 12'59". Joseba Beloki fared slightly better, but was still 5'36" back in 26th and is now 21st on GC, 8'31" adrift.

After the stage, Beloki said, "I went very badly the whole day; I believe that it has been a horrible stage for the whole team and also for me, especially in the last climb. I was expecting more, but I admit that I have gone too long without taking part in an important race and [today] I felt it. There is still a lot of racing left and I expect to be able to do better than today."

Heras said that he, "did not feel good from the beginning of the day and at the end I was very bad. ... I do not what has happened to me, because till now I felt very good. Because of that I hope that I was just having a bad day, because I felt very good [before]. Simply, my legs were not working today. I am now very far down in the general classification, but still nope to see if I can recover the form that I had before. I have suffered a very hard blow, but I will try to recover and tomorrow we will see if it was only a bad day."

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