July 18, 2003
O’Grady - who had been part of the pursuig group alongside Frenchman Carlos Da Cruz - said it could have been different had his companions worked together.
“I’m really disappointed. I was in the right break but at the end nothing worked out the way I wanted,” said O’Grady who is still looking for his first stage win of this year’s race.
“Toulouse is like my second home after Adelaide, so I was pretty motivated to win here. But what can you do when you’ve got riders like Da Cruz who don’t want to collaborate.”
Um, Stuart, a little tip. If they’re not wearing green and white jerseys that look like yours, they’re not necessarily looking out for your best interests.
However Da Cruz, who rides for the fdjeux.com team of green jersey wearer Baden Cooke, said he had a good reason for sticking with the Aussie.
“My mission today was to stick with Stuart O’Grady. When he left the group I followed him and contested the intermediate sprints,” said Da Cruz.
“We had to make sure he didn’t take too many points for the green jersey. It’s an absolute priority for us to defend Baden’s lead.”
(See also Michael Rogers’s VeloNews rider diary entry, where he couldn’t understand Da Cruz’s and Portal’s part in the break).