“The plan yesterday morning was simple: to get seven guys to the start and hopefully reach the finish with seven riders,” said the directeur sportif of the Rabobank team, Erik Dekker when contacted by LeTour.fr. “Unfortunately Denis Menchov stepped off at the midway point… but the mood is much better in the team today. It was almost back to normal this morning after a few very stressful days.
“Everyone was in good spirits at breakfast and the guys were talking about jumping into the escapes and getting into the break. Boogerd made the first attack up the first hill and he made the break,” explained Dekker about the move of stage 18. “And he looks very good.”
So what are the intentions of the team now…? “Well, we want to end the stage with the yellow jersey of course,” joked Dekker. “We only have 28 minutes to make up before Boogerd is in the virtual lead… crazy things can happen on the Tour, huh? Remember last year…?
“But seriously, we recognize that Michael Boogerd only has a few more days in the Tour de France. This will be the last time he starts this race and this might be his last opportunity to show himself and maybe even win a stage. But it’s the same for Axel Merckx but of course I think Boogerd will be good.”