Julich and CSC gun for yellow
WASQUEHAL, France – Bobby Julich’s CSC team went on the attack again Tuesday in search of the 2004 Tour de France’s yellow jersey.The team’s German, Jen Voigt, who has five victories already this season, attacked the 185-man peloton at the start of the third stage in Waterloo, Belgium, along with Belgian Bram de Groot (Rabobank).The pair worked together to a one-time advantage of more than six minutes, making Voigt, temporarily, “leader on the road.” But waiting along the 210 km stage to Wasquehal, France, were two sections of cobblestones – paths famously followed in the “Hell of the North,” Paris-Roubaix one-day spring classic.”Today went as expected,” Julich said afterward. “I knew that since we took a look at the cobblestone sections before the prologue that we would have no problems – if luck went our way.”The German/Belgian duo’s breakaway hopes were dashed, however, when the peloton – led by five-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong’s U.S. Postal squad – inevitably reeled Voigt and de Groot in after the first section of “pave,” near Aix-les-Orchies.Fortunately for Team CSC, Julich, Spaniard Carlos Sastre and Italian Ivan Basso – the team’s primary hopes for a podium spot in Paris – finished with Voigt in the main peloton, five seconds later. “It turned out that I was able to make the front group, but then had to wait for the Basso and Sastre group and help them back to the front,” Julich said.Voigt, meanwhile, kept Team CSC’s streak of “most aggressive rider” designations alive for a third straight day. And with time bonuses earned on the road, he’s now third overall, just nine seconds behind Australian Robbie McEwen (Lotto-Domo), the Tour’s new leader.CSC is one of the favorites to win today’s 64.5 km team contest against the clock from Cambrai to Arras, in northern France – and if so, Voigt could be wearing the yellow leader’s jersey by day’s end. Meanwhile, Julich and Sastre – 11th in the individual classification, at 26 seconds, and 15th at 29 seconds – are poised to assume high places, too.”We are really looking forward to the TTT tomorrow and hope that Jens is as strong as he has been in the last few days,” Julich said. “Of course we have to have good luck, but I know that we will be in for a shot at the win and I would be disappointed if we were out of the top three.””We are really looking forward to the TTT tomorrow and hope that Jens is as strong as he has been in the last few days,” Julich said. “Of course we have to have good luck, but I know that we will be in for a shot at the win and I would be disappointed if we were out of the top three.”
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Had Hailey Swirbul decided against going to Europe, she would not have finished with a career-best result in Friday’s World Cup opener. Yes, there was a time, and not long ago, when the U.S. ski team member and Roaring Fork Valley native questioned her desire to put on a race bib.