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Daily Feedbag (pt. II)

Technically, the other DF was submitted at night...

  • Davitamon Come Alive! Things had to be getting pretty dicey on the team bus over the last month or so, but Chris Horner's win today and capture of the overall lead changes everything. Can he hang on? Not bloody likely, the climbing specialists will make Davitamon suffer if they attempt to defend over the next two mountainous stages, and Sunday's final ITT is perfect for Paolo Savoldelli, lying only 7 seconds back. But it's good to see Belgium's B-Team get the monkey off their back. As I've said, they're more a team for the grand tours, and looking back at last year's fine season, by April's end they only had Nico Mattan's bizarre Gent win to show, before getting revved up. Still, April must have been excruciating this year...

More on the flip:

  • Look out below: Haselbacher wins! Apparently the crash-master took the sprint from a leading gruppetto, and now owns the Reinland-Pfalz Rundfahrt leader's jersey to boot. Given the time gaps I presume this race has some hills, but I can't find any remotely useful information in English.
  • At least Haselbacher and Gerolsteiner know how to defend a home race. Phonak haven't shared in any spoils yet in Romandie, with Moos' third placing today their best result yet. I'm a bit confused why Santiago Botero isn't there; perhaps he's doing down time to stay on track for helping Landis at the Tour, and anyway Moos is no better or worse. They're in an interesting position... Landis has a legitimate chance to win the Tour this year, given its vanilla route and preference for ITT studs, and it appears they're cashing in their usual chits to make this happen. It's always nice to make the sponsor look good at home, but my sense is Phonak could blow off Romandie and the Tour de Suisse, and not worry if they deliver in July.
  • CN has an interview with Bobby Julich on his disappointing season so far.
  • Even when T-Mobile win (stage 1 of Reinland-Pfalz), it's kind of comical:
What happens when you prepare a sprint for a sprinter who doesn't show up? Well, if you're T-Mobile's André Greipel, you go ahead and win the sprint yourself. That's what he did on Wednesday, winning the first stage of the Rheinland-Pfalz Rundfahrt for his first T-Mobile victory and taking the leader's jersey. "Actually I was supposed to lead for Olaf Pollack," said the 23-year-old, "but he didn't show up, so I pulled on through."

Neither the team management nor Pollack was unhappy with the change of plans, which led to the team's only third win this year. "Going towards the finish line, the street got very narrow and a 'traffic jam' developed," wrote Pollack on his personal website. "I got stuck behind André, Danilo Hondo and René Haselbacher, couldn't get by and finally finished fourth. I was happy for André, he's a good guy."