First Edition TdF Cycling News for June 19, 2005
Edited by Jeff Jones
McGee in the hurt bag, though still optimistic
By Anthony Tan in Verbier
Bradley McGee (Française Des Jeux)
Photo ©: Cyclingnews
In today's eighth stage of the Tour de Suisse, La Française des Jeux
team leader Bradley McGee kept his hopes of a high overall finish alive.
Finishing in 12th position, 1'21 behind stage winner Pablo Lastras (Illes
Balears) and in the company of race leader Michael Rogers (Quick.Step)
and Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile), who occupy the two places above him on the
overall classification, the 29 year-old retains his third spot overall
going into tomorrow's final stage in Ulrichen.
When Cyclingnews caught up with him at the finish line in Verbier,
the Sydneysider was satisfied with his efforts, but was understandably
in plenty of pain.
"Oh, you don't know what to expect, although with a finish like that,
you expect a lot of pain - that's one thing - and we got that," he said
when asked whether the stage met his expectations. "They put the squeeze
on early; some guys tried to go with it, then got dropped, and it came
back. I was just confident enough to let it go a little bit and thought
it would come back in the last few k's.
"Though I was in the hurt bag," admitted McGee.
"I was getting dropped, coming back on... but I was still thinking if
it came back and it was flat at the finish, I would have a go in the sprint",
he said with a chuckle, almost having trouble comprehending what he was
saying. "So something must be going alright."
So far, McGee has enjoyed a brilliant tour to date, finishing 15 seconds
off Ullrich in last Sunday's time trial and winning the following day's
stage in St. Anton. McGee also added his change of training program to
accommodate his transformation to a stage race rider has seen him recover
much better each day.
"I've been pulling up really good in the mornings. Yesterday [Stage 7],
the squeeze was on early - 17 guys up the road and we had no one in it,
but it had [Patrick] Sinkewitz and Giuseppe [Guerini], so I had to go
across by myself. And that was straight out of the block, so it shows
I'm pulling up pretty good. Still hurts, though... "
Going into today's inevitably decisive stage, half of which is uphill,
there's still plenty more hurting left, and it appears he isn't thinking
about victory just yet. "You can only do what you can do. Again, a lot
of climbing; you have your limits - you can only do what you can do,"
Julich playing a supporter's role
CSC's Bobby Julich has already had a solid season, winning Paris-Nice
and Criterium International this spring, and racing well in the Vuelta
a Pais Vasco. The American is sitting in 21st overall but hasn't targeted
the Tour de Suisse; neither is he aiming to do well in the Tour de France.
"Honestly, I have to be realistic," Julich said after stage 8. "I did
such a good spring - I've just got to be there for Ivan [Basso] in the
Tour. And then once the Tour's over, it's up to Jens and I again to take
the leadership roles."
Boonen a DNS on Sunday
Sunday's brutal final stage of the Tour de Suisse will not be graced
by Quick.Step's top sprinter Tom Boonen. "He gets an extra day of rest
with an eye on the Tour," said team director Wilfried Peeters to Sporza
today. "With three cols it's probably not a stage for him. He is the only
one who will not start. The rest must help defend the leader's jersey
of Michael Rogers."
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