Hoste's post race reaction sums it up. Cylingnews reported:
Right after he finished the race he sat down and swore up a storm, louder and louder. "F***, verdomme, I feel so bad right now, not only for me but for the whole team," he explained. "They were doing an excellent job all day long."
After the Bosberg, I commented: "Why isn't anyone from the Boonen etc. group chasing? They have like 12 guys and its only 20 seconds to Ballan and Hoste. They could catch them."
A more experienced rider then me responded: "Yeah, but they've got 150 miles and all those hills in those legs already."
Good point. I can only imagine what that must have been like. No longer pedaling circles, more like pushing anvils.
Photo, G. Watson, v-news.