Posted by Editoress on 04/6/11
Team Director Steve Bauer discusses the stages:
Team SpiderTech anticipated an exciting day with Kevin Lacombe, Svein Tuft and the rest of the team riding very well in support.
During the morning 100 kilometre road race stage, the team expected Leopard-Trek to control the race - and they certainly did, keeping a four man breakaway in check for the entire 99 kilometres. Garmin-Cervelo aided the Leopard-Trek riders and brought the race to a bunch sprint where Keven Lacombe did an awesome job finishing fifth, behind Michel Kreder of Team Garmin-Cervelo, the stage winner.
The big event was to unfold starting in the afternoon with the 6.8 kilometre Time Trial race, which would be the most important event for the ultimate General Classification standings with only two more stages left in the race.
Svein was on and we knew he would be competitive for a win, and certainly a podium contender. Off the blocks and up the first 3 kilometres of tough, uphill grind, Svein was solid and keeping very good speed. At the top turn, his rear wheel made a slip, but the bike handling skills of Tuft keep him upright. He was going for it in every turn. Approximately 300 metres later, with half distance to go and technical turns ahead, Svein's right carbon aero extension cracked in big dip (bump) of a road crossing. Svein sat up with the extension in his hand. He attempted to get the Di2 shifting working as the extension was only connected to the bike with an electric wire.
"I could not believe Svein kept it together," said Bauer, Directeur Sportif for Team SpiderTech powered by C10 "He was entering technical turns, with one arm, trying to get his shift right and the entire time trying to keep his top speed - which was impossible."
On the downhill, things got better for Tuft. "But still, watching him powering at over 60 kilometres per hour, imbalanced and running speed bumps with one arm was crazy," added Bauer.
Svein finished at 6 seconds behind Millar and a good 13 seconds behind Bennati.
"Without the mishap, Svein was at least as good as Millar," asserted Bauer. "We're a bit devastated," added Kevin Field, assistant Directeur Sportif for the team. "Svein was on it and bad luck came our way at the wrong moment."
"This lost time is going to be tough to get back," said Tuft. "My fitness is really good and I was on a great ride before it all went wrong. I am pretty gutted after aiming for this event for a few weeks now."
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