Tour of Flanders: Saxo Bank's Breschel taken out by mechanical
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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Tour of Flanders: Saxo Bank's Breschel taken out by mechanical

by VeloNation Press at 12:49 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Tour of Flanders

Even though Fabian Cancellara took a brilliant win in today's Tour of Flanders, there were still some choice words from the Saxo Bank camp following the race.  Danish champion Matti Breschel and eventual winner Cancellara were both faced with brake problems over the cobblestones of Flanders, resulting in both needing to switch to their spare bikes on the team car.

The narrow winding roads in Flanders aren't well suited for riders to connect with their team car, so the radio's become particularly important in this scenario.  For Cancellara, the sports director was able to find a good spot to pull over and perform the bike change.  However, for Breschel, the matter became quite complicated.

"It was a combination of very unfortunate circumstances that came to cost Matti so dearly. And I don't doubt for a second that he missed a top position because of mechanical problems," said Riis to Politiken after the race.

"When Matti needed his bike changed we didn't have a mechanic in the service car. Shortly before Fabian also had difficulties with his bike.

"He [Cancellara] changed [his bike] too, and when the mechanic had repaired the damage to his original [bike], we shot him off in another car using a shortcut on the route so Fabian could get his bike again."

"It meant we could not have made Matti's [bike change]. There was simply no time for it and I fully understand why he is frustrated that this could occur."

Just like they had for Cancellara, the team car pulled over and quickly attempted to pull the bike from the roof of the car.  It appeared as though Breshel's spare bike was stuck on the passenger side of the car, so the team pulled another bike, one belonging to Stuart O'Grady, from the driver's side of the roof rack.

"They f**ked it up," Breschel told De Telegraaf after the race. "I was handed Stuart O'Grady's bike!" he continued, visibly frustrated.

Breschel's "mother of all bike changes" ended up taking the Dane out of contention in a race where he had already begun to show his strength.  He recently won the Dwars door Vlaanderen with a bold solo move 20 kilometers from the finish and, while Cancellara looked unstoppable today, he would have liked the opportunity to be a part of the final.

The situation played out to where Breschel was behind trying to get his bike sorted out, while Cancellara was ahead toughening up the race for his eventual winning move on the Muur.  The Swiss champion understood his teammate's frustration commenting afterwards:  "It can happen, but it really shouldn't."


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