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"They had a bad day, and were struggling early on some of the steeper climbs. They were among the first to get dropped from the peloton," Elijzen says

Photo: Belkin Pro Cycling Team








20.06.2014 @ 22:43 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Earlier this year Theo Bos made it clear that he hoped to get selected for the Tour de France by his Belkin management but today his chances were dealt a significant blow when both he and lead-out man Graeme Brown abandoned the Ster ZLM Toer. Instead, his teammate Paul Martens took over sprinting duties and he did well by taking sixth.


Paul Martens led the way for Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM with sixth in a hotly contested bunch sprint in the 190.5-kilometre third stage at the Ster ZLM Toer in Holland on Friday.

Greg Henderson (Lotto-Belisol) won the stage starting and finishing in Buchten, with Belkin's Jos van Emden staying eighth overall at 13 seconds behind race leader Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano).

"It was a nice result for Paul. It was really hard in the beginning of the stage, with some hard climbs from the parcours of the Amstel Gold Race," said Belkin Sports Director Michiel Elijzen. "It wasn't an easy stage, but it turned out to be a bunch sprint. The guys are riding really well."


Belkin sprinters Theo Bos and Graeme Browne both were dropped early, and did not finish the stage.

"They had a bad day, and were struggling early on some of the steeper climbs. They were among the first to get dropped from the peloton," Elijzen said. "Theo and Graeme had to stop, which is quite a bummer for our team, but everyone else is going fine."


The 28th Ster ZLM Toer continues Saturday with the hilly and demanding 187km fourth stage that dips into Belgium. Starting in Verviers, the route crisscrosses the Belgian Ardennes, including climbs over such famous hills as La Redoute, and concludes with a circuit course on a steep uphill finale at La Gileppe. 

"Maybe we can move Van Emden up a bit in the GC, but our real hope is with Martens. He's shown in the past he is very strong in uphill finishes, so our job will be to put him in good position like we want so he can make the sprint, and get the victory the team is looking for," Elijzen said. "Paul is one of the favourites for tomorrow's stage, along with Philippe Gilbert."



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