Bruyneel Criticises Garmin-Slipstream’s Stage 14 Strategy

Johan Bruyneel Astana press conference Tenerife Dec 08

Astana sports director Johan Bruyneel has slated Garmin-Slipstream for driving at the ront of the peloton in the final kilometres of stage 14 in to Besançon.

Bruyneel argued that Garmin-Slipstream’s strategy effectively prevented George Hincapie (Columbia-HTC), present in the break of the day, from taking the leader's yellow jersey.

The Belgian alleged that Garmin-Slipstream’s reason for chasing so hard could be because they were not interested in another US team taking the yellow jersey.

“I don’t understand why Garmin were working so hard, it seemed like they weren’t happy that another American team should have the race lead,” Bruyneel said.

“This episode could have longer-term sequels. Racing against another team like that is not good, not something that should happen in the Tour.”

Hincapie was a key part of the US Postal and Discovery Channel line-ups that helped Lance Armstrong win seven Tours in a row, and Bruyneel admitted that he would have liked the veteran American to have taken yellow.

“If he or [Christophe] Mevel had taken yellow that would have been another team to control the race tomorrow. Rinaldo Nocentini [Ag2R] remaining in yellow is not great for us. But that’s cycling.”

Asked who he thought would be in yellow on Sunday night, Bruyneel was less forthcoming, saying simply “I’ve no idea, none at all.”

Lance Armstrong was equally forthright in his Twitter feed about Garmin, saying; “No one, and I mean no one, wanted George in yellow more than me.”


Tour de France 2009 - the hub: Index to reports, photos, previews and more.


Stage 13: Haussler braves rain for victory in Colmar

Stage 12: Sorensen wins in Vittel as Cavendish goes for green

Stage 11: Cavendish takes fourth win to equal Hoban's record

Stage 10: Cavendish spoils Bastille Day party to take third stage win

Stage nine: Third French win as contenders content with ceasefire

stage eight: Sanchez wins from break as Tour favourites cancel each other out

Stage seven: Feillu wins at Arcalis, Nocentini takes yellow, Contador leap-frogs Lance

Stage six: Millar's brave bid denied on Barcelona hill as Hushovd triumphs

Stage five: Voeckler survives chase to win his first Tour stage

Stage four: Astana on top but Armstrong misses yellow by hundredths of a second

Live Tour de France stage four TTT coverage

Stage three: Cavendish wins second stage as Armstrong distances Contador

Stage two: Cavendish takes first sprint

Stage one: Cancellara wins opening time trial


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