By Susan Westemeyer
Gerolsteiner seems to have its problems with Grand Tours. The Vuelta got off to a bad start for the team as captain Davide Rebellin crashed entering a roundabout during the opening team time trial. The team ended up finishing in 13th place, 19 seconds behind winner CSC.
"After Davide's crash we had to find our rhythm again, especially since Marcel Strauss, who was riding behind Davide, also fell behind. In the end, we have to be satisfied with our results, considering the circumstances," said directeur sportif Reimund Dietzen. "We did the best we could."
Rebellin and Strauss ended up finishing dead last, 2'50 down. The team went over the finish line with only six riders, as sprinter Robert Förster couldn't keep the pace and finished 40 seconds down, or 21 seconds behind his teammates.
Rebellin's crash apparently won't have any lasting effects. "Davide has a lot of scrapes and bruises, but will start," team spokesman Jörg Grünefeld told Cyclingnews Sunday morning.
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