Second-placed Schleck "showed class"

The podium (L to R:)

The podium (L to R:) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Team CSC's Fränk Schleck finished second after a very solid effort in Sunday's Züri Metzgete and earned the praise of his sports director. "Fränk was fantastic and fought his way to a brilliant result," said Kim Andersen on "He really showed class out there - both physically and mentally with his excellent sense of tactics. He didn't give in, and it took a lot of effort to prevent the pursuers from catching up. The result is yet another solid testimony to Fränk's enormous potential, and with his performance today we've every reason to think he's capable of winning one of the big classics."

Schleck could indeed be satisfied with finishing second behind the winner Paolo Bettini, as 'Il Grillo's performance was more than outstanding. A very interesting battle unfolded behind him between Schleck and Fassa Bortolo's Lorenzo Bernucci, which the Luxembourger won in a sprint, 2'57 after Bettini crossed the line.

"I'm very satisfied with my result, even though I didn't win," said Schleck after the finish in Zürich. "Bettini was untouchable today, but this is one of those second places you can be proud of. I really felt good out there and all I had to do was try. It definitely wasn't my favorite kind of weather, and I'll admit we did take some chances in the turns in order to keep our distance to our two pursuers. But we made it and it was a big thing for me to end up on the podium in a race like this."

The whole of the Züri Metzgete (the "Butcher of Zürich"according to some) was marked by rain, fog and cool temperatures.

Piil crashed and broke hip

On a very different note CSC's Jakob Piil had to see his opportunities and the remainder of the season totally shattered when he crashed after being hit by one of the service cars.

"Jacob crashing today is really tragic," said team manager Bjarne Riis. "He was in the shape of his life and now has to see the whole thing go down the drain, because one of the drivers didn't adhere to the regulations. He has every reason to be absolutely furious, especially after all he's been through to get back on this level."

Piil was taken to a local hospital where a broken hip was diagnosed.

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