Mayo surprised by Armstrong
In the post-Ventoux press conference Iban Mayo talked about his own stunning performance and Lance A
Iban Mayo admitted he rode with a simple plan in mind during Thursday’s Dauphin Libr time trial on Mont Ventoux. He rode the first 5.5 kilometres fairly steadily (although fast enough to be quickest to this point) to get used to his new Orbea time trial bike, then upped his pace to the 15.5km mark, then gave the last 6km all that he had left. The result was not only an impressive stage victory that regained him the race leadership, but also an astounding 1-58 margin over defending champion Lance Armstrong. “I was surprised by Armstrong’s performance,” Mayo said afterwards. “I thought he would finish higher, but I suppose he just hasn’t had a good day. In contrast, my legs felt great. I was surprised I had the best time [at the first check]. I believe it has been a great test for the Alpe d’Huez time trial [at the Tour de France]. “I don’t know if my form has come too soon with regard to the Tour. I hope not. What is clear is that I feel good now and I must take advantage of that. I have come here to win this race. We will see before too long what happens at the Tour.” Ventoux runner-up Tyler Hamilton, who finished 35 seconds down on Mayo, was pleased with his day for all kinds of reasons. “It was a good test,” the Phonak team leader told Velo 101. “I am not here to win the overall but I have tried to be at 100% for the prologue and for today. On that front things have gone well, two second places, which is a good omen. Each time I have been behind Iban Mayo, who I hope is at his peak, because I am certainly not at mine. This is my first race since the Tour of Romandie and it takes time to get back to your best. The other day I had a bit of cramp, it takes time to get your body reaccustomed to the effort.” Asked about Armstrong’s performance, Hamilton commented: “He isn’t at his best, but he will be for the Tour, as will Jan Ullrich. He will be ready, that’s for sure.” As well as his own performance, Hamilton was also pleased with the rest of his team. “All the boys are going well. They have all realised that they can win here. We have worked hard during two training camps in May and that has paid off,” he said, acknowledging that he would now be giving third-placed Oscar Sevilla all the help he can over the coming three days to win the Dauphin title.