Team Astana Wins 2009 Tour de France Team Time Trial

News & Results

07/7/2009| 0 comments
by Thomas Valentinsen
Team Garmin-Slipstream. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Team Garmin-Slipstream. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Team Astana Wins 2009 Tour de France Team Time Trial

Lance Armstrong is now very close to taking the overall lead in the Tour de France.

was just disrespectful to Carlos Sastre or Cadel Evans. This is not easy at all. Today I am realistic. I have both feet on the ground. It will not be like in 2001 or 2005. It will be harder. That's as honest as I can say it."

You came back after four years and you brought to the race in the last four days more spectacle than in the last four years...

"I think there was excitement the last four years. A day like yesterday was just a surprise. There were questions about the tactics of yesterday. It was just luck. Tomorrow Evans can be in the front and we might not be."

Are you one of the favorites now?

"I am happy with where I am. I don't know if I'm the best in the race. I came in this race thinking that I would be one of the best, based on the trainings and tests that I've done, based on the trainings with Levi Leipheimer. "

How do you keep the cohesion in the team?

It's not nearly as difficult as the media makes it up to be. The first week of the Tour the media have to find something to write about. In Monaco it was about Vinokourov and Bruyneel, yesterday it was about Contador and me. Next week it will be something else. In the mean time we just ignore those things and Alberto does that too. We proved today that we are just a good team. Most of this falls to the responsibility of Johan Bruyneel and our directors. They have to direct the team and the tactics and attitude in the team. We go forward with two leaders. I am confident we will find a good solution. "

Now your team doesn't have to defend the yellow jersey?

"There will probably be less pressure, but this will not change the race for us. We wouldn't have tried to control the race tomorrow anyhow. The Tour will not be decided in week one but in part two of week three. "

A few days ago the former president of ASO, Patrice Clerc, said that your return to cycling brought with it the return of doubt.

"Was the Tour of ASO in a perfect situation when I was gone? He was the boss. Under his leadership cycling was not perfect. The question should be returned to him."

Interview with Alberto Contador

Are you happy or not happy because of missing the yellow jersey?

"I think that today we have to be very, very happy. We have distanced enough riders like Sastre, Evans, Menchov and even the Schlecks. It's only a pity we missed the yellow jersey. Always you like to have the maillot and especially Lance, with what it means for him. On the other hand, this allows us to ride more relaxed."

How did you feel during the stage?

"I felt like I was one of the strongest riders but the course was not so good for me personally. It's a pity that there were not more

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