Alpe d'Huez: What they said
Monday, July 17, 2006 11.00pm
Frank Schleck says that his winning attack was out of character, Cunego rues a missed chance, Landis
Frank Schleck (1st on stage, 12th @ 7'07" on GC) "This win will definitely boost my confidence. Lots of people have told me in the past that I should believe in myself more. I can do that now...I was supposed to stay with Carlos [Sastre] as long as possible today, but I ended up getting in a break with three team-mates. A lot of the other riders told me that I should go back because I was too well-placed on GC. But Jens [Voigt] and David [Zabriskie] did a great job in the break. I have to thank them and the rest of the team for having faith in me. I always hesitate too much, but I said to myself that I didn't want to go into a sprint with Cunego and that you don't get many chances to win at Alpe d'Huez." Damiano Cunego (2nd @ 00'11" on stage, 26th @ 15'21" on GC) "Only the winner deserves congratulations, not the runner-up. This was a finale I'd dreamed about and I gave everything I had to try to win, working hard in the break. I must thank [Patxi] Vila who sacrificed himself for me. I still want to go for a stage win: we have another two Alpine stages ahead of us and I'll aim for the win again." Floyd Landis (4th @ 1'10" on stage, 1st on GC) [Martin] Perdiguero went really hard at the bottom of the climb and dropped most of the field. After that I attacked in an effort to get up to Axel [Merckx]...I didn't know how Kloeden would ride the Alps, but I suspected that he'd had a bad day on the big stage in the Pyrenees. I haven't written the others off either: I could have a bad day, too. I'm just trying to gain time here and there, wherever I can. Bicycle racing is a tactical game, to my way of thinking. I would like to save my team far as possible: I'd like them to go home feeling well. I'll keep racing as conservatively as possible. If I can do that and be in the yellow jersey in Paris I'll be very happy." Andreas Kloeden (5th @ 1'10" on stage, 6th @ 2'29" on GC) "Finishing with Landis gives me a lot of confidence. I'm very happy to have dropped my main rivals - Evans, Leipheimer and Sastre - and take time off them. Landis was still too strong to drop but I can feel that I'm getting better in this last week and I expect to be at his level over the next few days. I feel very strong and I'll definitely take some time off Landis at some point."
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