July 18, 2004
Klöden given free rein, Mancebo seeks podium
More from cyclingnews.com:
Jan Ullrich reports that T-Mobile teammate Andreas Klöden is free to ride his own ride:
"For me 'Klödi' has been a revelation in this Tour. I hope he can maintain his current level all the way to Paris. He was clearly the better man in the Pyrenees, so I've given him 'Carte Blanche' in the Alps. I certainly won't split hairs over who works for whom."
"Use 'Klödi' just as a helper when he's in the form of his life? No way! For a start, I know he is currently capable of leaving me in his wake. That's not a good thing for my morale. Secondly, I don't want to make the mistake of using him to pace me in the Alps. I need to ride at my own rhythm."
"In all truth, I was quite content to plough my own furrow on the climb to Plateau de Beille. It will only make sense to enlist Klödi's help in the Alps if its to our mutual benefit. If I think he has the stronger legs, then he not only should, but must, go for it alone."
Also, Francisco Mancebo of Illes Balear-Banesto discounts his chances at overall victory in this Tour:
"From this point on, the Tour will be decided between Armstrong and Basso," Mancebo told L'Equipe. "There's only third place to fight for, for which I am a candidate just like Klöden, Totschnig and don't forget Totschnig and Azevedo. I tried to attack and test Armstrong's group with the hope that some riders would follow. Unfortunately, nobody wanted to, or nobody could. The key to this stage and no doubt for the Tour is the collective strength of US Postal. If Armstrong wins, it's clear he owes that to his team."
Also also, Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel are giving race director Jean-Marie Leblanc the silent treatment, apparently because the Tour organization tried very hard to get US Postal's Pavel Padrnos excluded from the race:
"Armstrong doesn't greet me any more, but that is up to him."
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Klöden given free rein, Mancebo seeks podium:
Ullrich is one class act. 'Nuff said.
Posted by: Freddy at Jul 19, 2004 12:24:39 AM
I'm glad Ullrich is willing to step aside in favor of Kloden if that's how things turn out this year. But doesn't it seem to point to the difference between T-Mobile and USPS? Everyone at USPS works for one thing - getting Lance the yellow jersey in Paris. I was surprised to see during Saturday's stage that Ullrich was all by himself - nobody working with him to bring him back to the front of the peleton. I'd fall off my bike in shock if the same thing happened with USPS.
Posted by: Unawen at Jul 19, 2004 8:37:49 AM