Godefroot: Jan's back now
T-Mobile boss Walter Godefroot’s pessimistic mood has lifted following yesterday’s TTT, which pushed
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Walter Godefroot, the avuncular uncle of T-Mobile, cut a relaxed figure in the start village at Chambord this morning. The German team’s head honcho had forecasted, a little grimly, before yesterday’s team time trial, that the men in magenta would “do well to finish in the top five”. Third place then, behind Discovery Channel and CSC, must have surprised him.? “Yes and no,” Godefroot said.
“You need at least some specialists who can make a difference and Jan (Ullrich) was at his best, Vino’ (Alexandre Vinokourov) was at top form and so was (Andreas) Kloeden. But I was astonished by the performance of Stephan Schreck, who was much stronger than expected.
“So we had three or four riders performing at a very high level, which gave the other guys something to follow. Other than that, we didn’t do anything unusual.
Now – and I know it’s a clich – we live day by day. We will wait for the Vosges and the Alps to see what will happen.”
But Godefroot rejected the idea of any attack on Lance Armstrong’s control of the race before the high mountain stages. “Attacking before the Alps would be like banging your head against a brick wall,” he said succinctly. “But it’s not over and if we thought that it was, then we might as well go home.”
Although some in the German media are clamouring for the in-form Vinokourov to assume team leadership at T-Mobile ahead of Ullrich, Godefroot rejected the idea. “There will be no change of team leader – yet,” he said. “Between Ullrich and Vinokourov there’s only 15 seconds – you can’t split them.
“And Jan’s back now,” assured Godefroot. “He’s not the same rider that we saw in the first time trial.”