Aussies looking to future goals

Brad McGee and Matt White didn't have the best of days, but both are looking to new goals in the fut

Brad McGee and Matt White didn't have the best of days, but both are looking to new goals in the fut
Two Australians ended the first day of the Tour de France with thoughts about what might have been: Cofidis' Matt White crashed out before even turning a pedal in anger, while Brad McGee, of, the clear favourite for victory in the prologue, could only manage fourth place. "It didn't go as well as planned," McGee told procycling after recording a time of 6.59 on the 6.1km course, nine seconds down on winner Fabian Cancellara (Fassa Bortolo). "But I'm not offering any excuses; I was just beaten by stronger guys." Spending Friday ill in bed would have been, for many riders, excuse enough. But McGee was far more modest. "Yesterday I wasn't feeling at all good, and did have a bit of a temperature, and a major headache, but it's normal for me to have down periods before 'the big ones'," explained McGee. "It was just unfortunate that this time it was closer to the event than normal. Last year I had it a week before the Tour, and I had two or three days in bed. It's kind of like the calm before the storm. It's a mental thing. I run on emotions, and it's all in my head." Despite a good performance in the general classification at this year's Giro d'Italia, where he was eighth overall, McGee knows where his loyalties lie - at this year's Tour at least. "We're here for the green jersey for Baden Cooke - who's sharp and on good form - and for stage wins. That's the way the team's been constructed for a long time now," McGee said, before revealing: "Whether it's with this team or another team, I'll be building up for the GC at the Tour next year. "This year I'm going to be 'capitaine' of the sprint train - not the last lead-out man. There are some stronger boys than me to do the final lead-out, which is good. I'll be directing the traffic!" White, over at the Cofidis team bus, with his arm in a sling and cuts and bruises to the side of his face, was a lot less upbeat. He woke up in hospital after losing consciousness when he crashed warming up for the prologue on Saturday morning after hitting a television cable - not a spectator as previously reported. "There was a big cable across the road where you came onto the course," explained White. "I just hit it, and then don't remember anything else, having landed on my head." Despite the disappointment at not being able to ride his first Tour, White hopes that, having been picked for the Australian Olympic squad just two days ago, that he'll be fit again for the race in six weeks' time. "I've broken my collarbone, which I've never done before. Some people get back riding pretty quickly, but we'll just have to see," he said. "I've also had four stitches on my eye, and have a bit of a sore head. "I'm going to stick around with the team for the next couple of days, see what the doctor says, and see the osteopath," said White, who will then return to his home in Valencia, Spain. "It could have been worse. And there's always next year. But I'm not getting any younger."
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