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“The finish then wasn’t ideal but we can learn from it and move forward, and Marcel maintains the race lead so we don’t come out empty handed," Kemna says

Photo: Sirotti






20.06.2014 @ 22:34 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Yesterday Giant-Shimano dominated the finale of the Ster ZLM Toer and Marcel Kittel was delivered perfectly to a clear sprint win. Today the team failed to impose the same kind of dominance and so the favourite had to settle for 22nd.


There was to be no back-to-back victory for Team Giant-Shimano and Marcel Kittel on today’s third stage of the Ster ZLM Toer as the team’s lead-out was foiled by a late attack in the final kilometre.


The team were not able to close the gap when Greg Henderson (Lotto-Belisol) jumped in the final kilometre, but Kittel did however maintain his overall race lead ahead of tomorrow’s fourth stage.


The stage got off to a fast start and on one of the early ascents, which saw the peloton tackle the Cauberg the peloton split with 27 riders form a leading group. Within this group was both fifth placed Albert Timmer and Kittel too so the team were in a good position at the front.

However despite pulling out a 45 second lead, the peloton was not done and the group was brought back into the fold by some of the teams not represented at the front.


Once normality was restored six riders pulled clear and the team set about controlling the pace on the front of the bunch. As the kilometres ticked by their advantage fell and with 20km to race the peloton was once again back in touch with the leaders.


From here in it was lead-out versus lead-out into the finish but Team Giant-Shimano could not assert the same dominance as yesterday and coming into the final kilometre the peloton was not under the control of the team. As a result Henderson was able to get the jump on the sprint formation and stayed clear to win while behind Kittel faded back in the final few hundred metres knowing that the victory had gone.


Team Giant-Shimano coach Rudi Kemna once again gave his evaluation of the stage after the finish: “There was hard battle for control of the peloton at the end of the stage today and in the final kilometre the guys lost control and lost each other through the final corners.


“The guys had already had a hard race in controlling the bunch in the hills and they did a great job here. Initially there was a large group ahead with Albert and Marcel which was not the best but we could handle the situation. Once this came back the guys took control and did a great job. Cheng [Ji], Tom [Stamsnijder] and Tobias [Ludvigsson] put in some hard work on the front and then later the other guys joined the chase to bring the race back together.


“The finish then wasn’t ideal but we can learn from it and move forward, and Marcel maintains the race lead so we don’t come out empty handed.”



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