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Rabo proud of its "mini-team"

Rabobank finished the Dauphiné Libéré with only four riders, but was satisfied with the performance of its "mini" team. "We have played a role until the end," said team manager Erik Breukink on the team's website, "And that with only four men. Additionally, the guys have come out of this tour with a much stronger condition than when they started. Denis Menchov was doing very well during the weekend. That is very promising with a view to the Tour."

He elaborated on Menchov, saying, "Denis had energy left today. He placed an attack at the right moment, but there were still too many Astanas left in that group. Otherwise, it might have worked. But, the general mood, with regard to Denis and the team, is very positive. We have shown more with four riders than other teams with six or seven."

During the race, the team lost four riders, with Graeme Brown suffering a slight knee injury and three young riders coming down with intestinal problems. All four are recovered and three of them have already raced again. Brown and Marc De Maar rode the Delta Profronde on Saturday and Theo Eltink is riding the Tour de Suisse.

Only Robert Gesink is not riding, but only because he had no other race scheduled. Breukink said it was a shame that Gesink could not finish the Dauphiné. "Robert had very much looked out for this race, but he never got the opportunity to show himself. When that opportunity appeared, he became ill. Perhaps he could have continued, but in hindsight I think it was a very wise decision to send him home. It would have benefited no one if he had to use up every bit of his energy here."

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