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By Jan Ullrich, T-Mobile professional cycling team
Hello,My goal today was to move firmly on to the podium of the Tour de France. I at least wanted to make good time. Unfortunately that didn’t quite work out that way.
Oscar Sevilla – the Spaniard here riding with us on this Tour – was really the man we had designated for a stage win today. Oscar wanted to make this “his” stage. It’s no wonder that he made the jump into the day’s break.
He did a spectacular job up there today and should be really proud. Oscar is a real asset to this team and it would have been nice to see him take this one, especially. One of the things I admire most about Oscar is his attitude. He always has a friendly demeanor, a smile on his face and is always quick to offer the usual greeting “Bene?” When you ask him the same, his answer is quick and always the same: “Si. Bene.” And you believe him. I am very grateful to him for what he did today. Once he had slipped out of the lead group, he slowed and waited to pace me up the final climb. Bene.
Today my goal was to put time on both Mikael Rasmussen and Ivan Basso. Realistically, I didn’t think I could move past both on GC, but I did want to reduce their respective leads, so that I could make a start and begin the task of moving up the overall standings. Unfortunately, I lost a minute to Armstrong and Basso and only gained a few seconds on Rasmussen. After such a big stage all I can do is look forward to a massage, dinner and sleep!
The good news is that tomorrow is a rest day. The bad news is that we have another long transfer and it was 8:30 before we even reached the hotel… which is why my diary is late. Being the second rest day and we get the unusual luxury of spending three nights in the same hotel in Pau. That may sound like a minor thing, but you can’t believe how much the whole team appreciates that. A bit of rest, a short training ride and then I need to focus on the rest of the Tour. I want to make the podium and get as high up as I can.