Director’s report from Johnny Weltz:
It was a nervous start today due to another cross/tailwind. After 23 km a group of three riders got off the front — we had Svein Tuft in it. A couple of kilometers later another three riders joined the group so six riders were off the front. They gained up to 2:30 minutes, then the field start to chase. They caught the break with Svein as the last rider to survive with only 28 km to go.
Just then it went into a crosswind section. First the field split into three, then into five groups with 13 riders up front including the yellow jersey and Tyler Farrar — but not Boonen and Haussler. So with 15 km to go the two front groups had a split of 20 seconds. It came down very slowly and at 1 km to go the two groups merged, as there was not much organization in the front group.
“That’s bike racing,” Farrar told Cyclingnews. “You have to gamble if you want to win. Unfortunately today it didn’t work out,” Farrar said as he rode back to the Garmin team car ready for the long drive back to the race
“It was a pity because I was pretty happy with my odds in that front group. But when the field caught up, I was already dead.”
“At least I didn’t have any mishaps today. I gambled but it didn’t pay off,” he said. “But it’s a good sign of my form. Today there were a few opportunities to try things and to get some good training done. That’s what you have to do if you want get in better condition for later on.”