Tour de France News for July 16, 2003
Edited by Jeff Jones
Mission accomplished for Jakob Piil
Crafty Dane wins his first Tour stage
By Gabriella Ekström in Marseille
Jakob Piil mobbed
Photo: © Sirotti
The moment where his pedal broke in Bourg-en-Bresse at the eighteenth
stage of the Tour last year has played on Jakob Piil's mind ever since.
"I have been thinking of that unfortunate moment a lot, because I was
in a position where I could have won," Piil said after his podium
celebrations in Marseille. "Luckily I didn't think much about it today.
During today's stage I was only looking forward. I have been trying really
hard during the last two years to win a stage in the Tour, so I'm very
happy and pleased that it finally worked out. To win a Tour stage was
one of the goals I had set up before the season."
Knowing the capacity of the Danish rider, it would be interesting to
know what his other goals for the year are, but when asked, he looks away
and mumbles his answer. "Eh, I don't know. Well, I've failed a few of
them already, but now I have this one, and that is a big deal. There are
still some late World Cups that I would like to have a go at though."
here for the full interview.
Stage 10 quotes
Fabio Sacchi (Saeco, 2nd)
Photo: © Olympia
"When Piil made his final attack from the breakaway group, I looked around
to see if anyone was interested in chasing him. Apparently they were not,
so I decided to go after him alone. It was very hard, and I rode flat
out to chase him. That is why I reached out my hand to him with 1500 metres
to go. I wanted to thank him for the good fight. I knew he was a better
sprinter than I, so I tried to get him in front of me, but it didn't work
out today. It would have been nicer if I had won, but I can live with
Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole, 6th in Green Jersey)
The Australian champion is looking for another opportunity for a stage
win, having survived the Alps, the first real test in this year's Tour.
"You just have to take it day by day," he told Cyclingnews in Gap today.
"If the opportunity presents itself and I find myself in position for
a breakaway, then I'll take it. With stages like this, it's not up to
the riders, it's up to the peloton."
What's the dynamic between you and Thor Hushovd concerning the sprints
and the green jersey? "Thor has got himself in a better position, so I'll
put myself in his services from now on."
Jorg Jaksche (ONCE, 18th GC)
What did you think when you saw Beloki on the ground? "No doubt... shit.
We'll try to win something else, like a stage or anything, and set some
Michael Boogerd (Rabobank, 23rd GC)
Photo: © C. Henry/CN
"I'll try to survive today, and survive the rest day," laughed Michael
Boogerd at the start of Stage 10. "Then we have the time trial, which
I'll do easily, not too hard. I hope in the Pyrenees I'm good again."
When asked about Oscar Freire's lack of success in the sprints so far,
Boogerd replied, "It's really difficult. There were five bunch sprints;
Cooke won one and Petacchi won four. Freire was third once, so I don't
think he's too bad. I think he's riding well, so we'll see what happens
today. I hope he can win, but in the Tour you never can tell anything.
It's always difficult."
George Hincapie (USPS-Berry Floor, 53rd GC)
"We had a pretty close call there. Armstrong did a great job of handling
the bike, and had good reactions, so we were happy to see that. We're
waiting for the Pyrenees. We're in a good position now. There's a lot
of competition this year, but we feel like we have one of the best teams,
so we're ready."
Who's the competition? "The usual suspects are still there... Vinokourov,
Ullrich, who I'm sure will be getting better. There are a lot of guys
Sandy Casar (FDJeux.com, 116th GC)
"For me personally, the Tour hasn't gone well. I've been very tired,
and have tried to recover each day. I'll have to wait for the rest day
to see how I can recuperate, because I really need to recover.
"I'm not sure that it's [having done] the Giro that's making me tired.
It's the heat, and maybe the Tour de Suisse was too much. I don't think
it was the Giro because I got really good form from that race.
Brad McGee (FDJeux.com, 136th GC)
Australian Brad McGee told Cyclingnews at the start of Stage 10 that
the aim is to keep Baden Cooke in Green. "For the green jersey, the priority
is not always winning the stage," he said. "We sort of changed our tune
a little bit. It used to be all about getting stage wins, and now the
priority's the jersey. For once we're going to start to start doing the
bonus sprints, which we really haven't been doing at all."
Santiago Botero (Telekom, 64th GC)
"I'm feeling better every day. Yesterday was not so bad. I'm very happy
for Alexandre and I just hope that he can keep the same level when we
reach the Pyrenees," Botero told Cyclingnews at the start of Stage 10.
Bjarne Riis (CSC D.S.)
In his team's daily website update, Riis expressed his delight in Piil's
win. "Piil showed how it is done," said Riis. "He did everything
right in the final kilometres. He has got a great instinct for winning.
We now have the stage victory that we dreamt of and on top of that we
now lead the teams classification. Little by little things have taken
a turn for the better after a tough start. With the stage victory, we
are able to demonstrate that we are one of the most important teams in
the Tour. I would like to congratulate Jakob. He really deserves this
victory. He has got such a great eye for this kind of finale."
Christian Henn (Gerolsteiner D.S.)
This morning Cyclingnews asked Gerolsteiner director Christian Henn
how the team has been faring, and what can we expect from them in the
coming days. "Georg Totschnig is not so bad," said Henn. "He was seventh
yesterday and we'll try to ride for him today. Normally we would ride
for Rebellin but now we'll consider riding for Udo and Georg. Totschnig
is 14th overall. He has the ability to do a really good time trial so
we're hoping for a top 10 placing for him in Paris."
ONCE still motivated after Beloki crash
By Günter Krause-Friebertshäuser
Photo: © C. Henry/CN
Team ONCE-Eroski was understandably demoralised by Joseba Beloki's terrible
crash on the final descent of stage 9 yesterday, but seemed to regain
some optimism today. Interviewed about the mental state of his team after
stage 10, Jörg Jaksche (ONCE's best-placed rider on GC) told German television
station ZDF that the team would stay as motivated as it was prior to Beloki's
elimination from the Grand Boucle. Since they no longer have a team leader,
every ONCE rider will be free to ride for themselves and possibly win
a stage that way.
After Jaksche's strong performance during the last stage in the Alps,
where he led until the last few kilometres, his statements aren't surprising.
In addition to Jaksche, the strong Azevedo, Serrano and Nozal could also
threaten in the mountains. There still is good reason to count on ONCE
in the Pyrenees, and despite his bad luck, this should please Joseba Beloki
Stage 10 Communiqué
Tyler Hamilton and Nicolas Jalabert were each fined 100 Swiss francs
for not signing in. CSC was stuck in traffic and arrived very close to
Alberto Lopez de Munain (Euskaltel-Euskadi) crashed and finished the
stage outside of the 9 percent time limit, but because his crash was caused
by a spectator he will be permitted to continue the race.
The demonstration which delayed the peloton by 1'30" with respect to
the breakaway was considered a normal incident, and as a result no time
adjustments were made.
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