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“Winning is always nice but winning after a long drought is even sweeter. When I came to Hainan, my goal was to win one stage in order to rebuild my morale," Bos says

MORENO HOFLAND

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TEAM VISMA | LEASE A BIKE

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TOUR OF HAINAN

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YANNICK MARTINEZ

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21.10.2013 @ 15:54 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Following his late withdrawal from the Vuelta a Espana due to low cortisol, Theo Bos got back to his winning ways today when he won the second stage of the Tour of Hainan. The victory was a great boost to Bos' confidence and allowed Belkin to reach their pre-season target of 30 victories.

 

Theo Bos had carefully prepared for the Vuelta a Espana where he hoped to take his first grand tour stage win but those plans were all derailed when low cortisol levels were measured in his body. His Belkin team withdrew him from the race on the day of the start of the race and Bos faced a time of uncertainty until he was finally cleared to race again.

 

He struggled to find back to his winning ways in his first races in Europe but today he finally brought the drought when he benefited from a perfect lead-out to win the second stage of the Tour of Hainan. The win came as a big relief for Bos at the end of a difficult time.

 

“Winning is always nice but winning after a long drought is even sweeter", said Bos who last won in the Ster ZLM Toer in June. "When I came to Hainan, my goal was to win one stage in order to rebuild my morale." 

 

It was a splendid day for Belkin as overall leader Moreno Hofland gained 5 bonus seconds in the first two intermediate sprints before picking up another 6 seconds at the finish line when he was 2nd behind teammate Bos.

 

Having already stated his intention to win the race overall, Hofland was happy to extend his lead over 2nd placed Frederic Amorison (Crelan) to 27 seconds.

 

“My intention was to take as many seconds bonus as I could”, he said. “There were many attacks at the beginning but no breakaway, so I could go for the first two intermediate sprints.”

 

In the bunch sprint, Belkin were riding for Bos but Hofland was allowed to do his own sprint.

 

“I was given a free role to sprint behind him”, Hofland explained. “I managed to stay on his wheel, so it’s nice to get some more seconds bonus at the end. I’m gonna try to gain time like that every day and make the gap bigger on GC to see the possibility to win the race overall.”

 

Already on the first day, Belkin had totally dominated on the race and the trend continued on the second stage. Sports director Michiel Elijzen was happy to see his team live up to its responsibility as the only ProTeam in the race.

 

“The first 70 kilometres were pretty hectic,” he said. “It was difficult but the boys covered every attack until a break of three got away of which we thought was easy to control. We proved to be right, as they were reeled in with 15 kilometres to go. Then the boys prepared the sprint for Theo, which was great. It’s great for Theo to win. This is good for his confidence.” 

 

Prior to the season, the team had decided that their objective was to win 30 races. With today's win, the team has reached its goal in the final race of the season.

 

“We aimed for thirty victories and it’s beautiful that we’ve succeeded," Elijzen said. "Today, I definitely need to compliment Marc Goos. He came here with GC ambitions, but worked very hard for Theo. That’s real team-work. I hope we can continue to ride like this. I really like the way we raced today and I want to keep this up. Today proved that with Theo and Moreno we have two strong sprinters.” 

 

Martinez: Belkin is really unbeatable

The rider that got closest to breaking the Belkin domination was La Pomme Marseille sprinter Yannick Martinez. The future Europcar sprinter finished 3rd but admitted that he is up against a force that is very hard to beat.

 

“This Belkin team is really unbeatable with two very good sprinters”, he said. “To finish third behind them is a good performance. I’m a decent sprinter too but today I wasn’t well positioned, maybe tenth when I had to start sprinting earlier than Bos and Hofland. If I get a better position in the next few days, I might get a better result as well. I’m still motivated to do well at the end of the season even though I know the training camps with Europcar will come quickly after I’ll return home from China.”

 

The Tour of Hainan continues tomorrow with a mostly flat third stage and end next Monday.

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