The Caisse d’Epargne rider attacked at about 100 kilometers from the finish to enter in a breakaway whichincluded the Frenchman Sandy Casar, the Spaniard Mikel Astarloza and the Russian Vladimir Efimkin.
“The first week of this 96th edition of the Tour has not been a good one for me because I still had to find the right rhythm but today I am very happy because I have been able to win a stage I planned to win beforehand. Before the Route du Sud I came here to see the course and in particular the Col de l’Agnes. I knew that if I was able to go with the right breakaway this stage was the ideal one for me.”
“Normally it was enough to arrive with a vantage of one minute at the top of the last hill to be sure to go to the finishing line and fight for the win. And things went like that. Very logically Efimkin, who remained the entire day in the wheels, which was normal considering the fact that he was the team-mate of the yellow jersey, had to attack before the sprint before he is not fast at all. I asked Casar and Astarloza to cooperate to catch him and from then on I knew I could reckon on the fact I can be very fast in the sprint.”
On the other hand, Oscar Pereiro abandoned the race in the feeding zone of Tarasc?n. “I have very bad sensations since the Tour started from Monaco”, commented the winner of the Tour 2006. “It was no use to go on like that and I prefer to concentrate on my next objectives which should be the Tour of Spain.”