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By Andrew Hood
Team CSC made what’s likely cycling history on Thursday when the team won three races in three different events all on the same day.
With ProTour squads boasting enough riders on their roster to run three programs, Team CSC scored an unprecedented “hat-trick” Thursday, taking stage-wins at the Deutschland Tour with Jens Voigt, Tour of Denmark with Fabian Cancellara and Paris-Corrèze with Marcus Ljungqvist.
“It’s a very special time for the team,” Team CSC sport director Tristan Hoffman told VeloNews. “We have a good combination of riders on the team who can win races. We have a very good mix and riders take advantage of the chances when they get them.”
In the Tour of Denmark, Team CSC is making up for the absence of defending champion Ivan Basso – sidelined pending an inquiry of alleged links to the “Operación Puerto” investigation in Spain – by sending Cancellara on the attack late in Thursday’s second stage. The Paris-Roubaix champion jumped with about three kilometers to go and surged into the overall lead.
In Paris-Corrèze, Ljungqvist out-sprinted the bunch to win for the first time of the year while in Germany, Voigt scored a victory for the first time in his national tour.
Voigt, who won a stage at the Tour de France last month, followed the attacking duo of Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) and Andrey Kascheschkin (Astana) with 15km to go over a Cat. 2 climb in Thursday’s second stage and then out-sprinted them to win his first stage in the German tour.
“Jens showed everything. He showed power, he showed he’s got the balls to go for it,” Hoffman said. “Jens raced the Giro and the Tour and he just keeps going. He still has good legs. He’s going to keep racing until there’s no more gas in the tank.”
Hoffman said the team’s success will help take the sting out of recent allegations made against Basso, who was forced out of the 2006 Tour after his name was linked to the Spanish investigation.
Italian cycling federations have reportedly received the official dossier from the UCI and are considering if there’s enough evidence to take action against Basso.
“Of course, the team still thinks about it, but we’re trying to keep our minds on racing,” Hoffman said. “No one knows what’s going to happen. We have a good feeling it’s going to end in a good way, but the [cycling federation] has to decide. That’s all we know right now.”
In the meantime, Hoffman said the team would celebrate its history-making hat-trick.
“You don’t win three races in three places every day,” Hoffman said. “We’re going to drink beer in Germany, wine in France and schnapps in Denmark. For sure we will have a small party.”