The Rabobank team will be leaving Paris with The polka-dot jersey, two stage wins, and a top ten GC ranking. But just like all other riders, the Rabobank men are happy that the last stage of the Tour de France is over and done with.
Erik Dekker was quoted on the Rabobank website: "Especially when the fatigue starts coming into play you're happy the end is near. And you miss your wife and children. But it's been a great Tour. It was new to us to race for classement and the climbers' jersey. But I have to say it was really motivating. Especially when you're going through a rough patch, that's what keeps you going.
"The last stage was dangerous. Thank God the roads dried after a few laps. I changed wheel three times and let some air out of the tires to get more grip.
"Vino's win today was a deserved one. He went for the fifth place in GC and Leipheimer had a busy day because of him. I kept in his vicinity, but the last three kilometres it was impossible to stay on his wheel. I came as close as five metres, but then unfortunately I had to let him go."
Michael Boogerd also was happy to see his family again after the finish. "I missed my son greatly and I'm so happy to hold him in my arms again; that's only natural. I got through the Tour well and feel ok. The last few days I have been a bit under the weather, but now I'm better again."
Tour debutant Pieter Weening thought his first ride on the Champs Elysées "had something special...When you are getting close, you hear the people cheering. I suffered on those wet cobbles; they went across them in a high speed. First we took it easy because of the bad weather, then I had the time to enjoy the ride."
Team Director Erik Breukink could look back and smile: "We won the polka-dot jersey; Weening won a stage, Rasmussen won a stage...and in a very nice way, greatly deserved. The young riders were strong throughout the tour. We kept a close eye on them at the beginning of the year and saw they were ready. When you see the manner in which Weening won his stage, that's fantastic. Posthuma hasn't had any problems either.
"The first week we had to do it in the breaks. Dekker and Kroon both had the mountain jersey because of those. We wanted Rasmussen to keep the jersey so they had to sprint for the points too. The time trial yesterday was a dramatic day, and we'll try to forget it as quickly as possible. It's no use crying over spilled milk.
"The fact that Menchov got sick meant that he was out for a top GC ranking pretty quickly. Try to get back when you came to the Tour to play with the big guns in the mountains! But he worked hard for Rasmussen and made it all the way to the finish. We had three highs: two stage wins and the polka dot jersey, and that's just fine"
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