BURGHARDT WINS SPRINT DUEL FOR COLUMBIA’S FIFTH TOUR STAGE
A powerful acceleration gave Marcus Burghardt his first victory of the 2008 season and Columbia’s fifth stage win in the 2008 Tour de France. At the end of a long break, the German comfortably outpowered Spaniard Carlos Barredo in a
two-way battle for a convincing stage victory at St. Etienne. For Burghardt the win had particular importance following a tough spring where knee injuries
left him out of one of his other big objecitves, the Belgian Classics.
“I’ve done some track riding in the past and in a finish like today’s that was specially important.” Burghardt said. “I never imagined it could come in useful in the Tour de France!”
“I went in one move early on, then in another after Carlos had gone because I really wanted to get in a break today. We both went for the sprint at the same time and I turned out to be the strongest.”
Already the winner of Ghent-Wevelgem in 2007, Burghardt said “My team said I had to help Mark [Cavendish] and Kim [Kirchen] in the first week, but that I would have a chance to go in the breaks in the third. And that's what's happened."
“My spring was very difficult because I had problems training in California [at the pre-season training camp] because of my knee injuries. it became inevitable that I would have an operation. Things got betterafterwards and thanks to my team giving me lots of support here I am.”
During the break “Barredo said he wouldn’t work because he wasn’t as good as me in the finall sprints and he tried to attack from behind. But I was always very focussed on him so he couldn’t get away.”
Asked if he had lifted his arms in victory too early, Burghardt said “I was sure that I had enough of an advantage and I was very happy to have won a Tour stage considering it’s just the second time I’ve taken part in the race.”
Asked why Columbia was so successful in this season, Burghardt said “it’s all down to great team spirit and supporting each other as much as possible.”
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