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Magnus Opus: Riding at the red line

It was a good ride today. I really think we got 100 percent out of our guys. I was happy with my ride… it’s just the other teams were faster. We actually had a pretty good run today. As I mentioned, I liked that first part: 40 or more kilometers of dead flat road. The last part went better than I expected. Garzelli said he really wanted to lead on the climbs, so we went absolutely flat out on the hills today. It was a hard adjustment to keep that pace over the climbs with Stefano setting the pace, but once over, it all went well. I think all in all it went quite well. Like I said the other

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By Magnus Bäckstedt, Liquigas-Bianchi professional cycling team

It was a good ride today.

I really think we got 100 percent out of our guys. I was happy with my ride… it’s just the other teams were faster.

We actually had a pretty good run today. As I mentioned, I liked that first part: 40 or more kilometers of dead flat road. The last part went better than I expected. Garzelli said he really wanted to lead on the climbs, so we went absolutely flat out on the hills today. It was a hard adjustment to keep that pace over the climbs with Stefano setting the pace, but once over, it all went well.

I think all in all it went quite well. Like I said the other day, we’d never ridden as a team at 100 percent before, so I was really quite pleased. These guys were really doing well.

That closing stretch was a little tough. We made it through, of course, but I’ve been watching the replays of the CSC team coming through. I still really can’t tell what happened. It almost looks like Zabriskie touched a wheel, but when you look at it, you see there’s a bit of a gap there. All of a sudden he was on the ground. It’s a heart-breaker when you see someone lose the jersey like that. Looking at the momentary delay it caused, it’s safe to predict that CSC would have won the stage, too. The guys slowed down, looked around and then got back into it. They must have lost at least two seconds. He would still be in the jersey if it weren’t for that crash.

Looking at tomorrow, I really don’t think Discovery is going to put too much energy into protecting the jersey, so it’s going to be a question of whether the sprinters’ teams can work together to bring back what will surely be another break. Yesterday took it all the way to the edge, catching Dekker at around 2km, so I figure the chase will begin a little earlier today.

I’ll do my best to pick a good break one over the next few days. If you spot the right one, it opens the door for a stage win … if you get in the right one, that is.

Wish us luck,
Maggy