Bradley McGee: “Stage one is for Gossie or Phil Gil”
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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bradley McGee: “Stage one is for Gossie or Phil Gil”

by Ben Atkins at 8:47 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Saxo Bank-SunGard director says a Contador stage win is out of the question

brad mcgeeDespite his team captain Alberto Contador being the outstanding favourite for the overall Tour de France title, and the uphill nature of stage one’s finish suiting many of his characteristics, director sportif Bradley McGee doubts that the Spaniard will feature in the fight for the victory today.

“There’s no talk of Alberto going for the win… at least not within the team,” the Australian told before the stage start. “There are some who are speculating that this could be the case but that’s more to build a bit of first-day hype.

“What we want to do is settle into the rhythm of racing,” he added.

Being the first stage of the Tour it was obvious to all that a breakaway would go early, and McGee knew that it didn’t take a clairvoyant to know which team would be involved.

“You’ll have to talk to someone at Europcar about that,” he laughed.

Sure enough, the team that is based in the Vendée was on the attack as soon as race director Christian Prudhomme dropped the flag, to announce the start of hostilities, in the shape of Perrig Quemeneur; he was joined in the lead by Jérémy Roy (FDJ) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM).

There was no way that the breakaway trio were to be the ones to contest the victory though, and besides the outstanding favourite Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto), McGee was tipping one of his compatriots for the win.

“This is a day for ‘Gossie’ [Matt Goss (HTC-Highroad) – ed] or ‘Phil Gil’. It’s a climb that suits these riders and that’s good for us because the pressure is on another team.

“The first day is always a little bit anxious but the feeling at Saxo Bank-SunGard is relatively calm…” he continued. “We know what we’re here to do and we’ll wait for the mountains before really trying to do something.”

Unfortunately for Goss, he was delayed (although he didn’t appear to come down) by a crash as the peloton crossed les Sables d’Olonne after 65km. How much his chase to rejoin the peloton will affect the Milano-Sanremo winner at the finish remains to be seen.


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