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"I really believed in it, it took a while before the peloton got organized and if it would have rained I would have had a bigger chance. I felt good and love to animate the race, that will definitely be the case one of the next days ag...

Photo: Sirotti








10.06.2015 @ 19:36 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Today the peloton in the Critérium du Dauphiné covered a stage of 228 kilometres between Anneyron and Sisteron. Lotto Soudal rode a remarkable race.


Almost immediately after the start Tosh Van der Sande and Martijn Keizer escaped the peloton. The duo that represented Lotto Soudal and LottoNL Jumbo, had an advantage up to 7’30”. 25 kilometres before the finish 4’22” was still left of it. A nice gap, but they still had to get over a tough hill and the peloton was chasing.


On the Côte de la Marquise (4th category) Keizer left Van der Sande behind. Van der Sande could, after a break of more than 200 kilometres, still help his teammate Tim Wellens. The Belgian had jumped away on the climb. Wellens caught up with Keizer and left him alone pretty soon, but he was caught with 2.5 kilometres to go.


Then Tony Gallopin attacked, but eventually the stage ended with a bunch sprint. It was won by Nacer Bouhanni, ahead of Jonas Vangenechten and Luka Mezgec. Just like in the first stage Tiesj Benoot finished in the top ten, he was eighth today.


“Before the stage I already had the idea to join a breakaway," van der Sande said. "I noticed Cofidis was riding in front to control the number of escapees. Teammate Pim Ligthart already had made an attempt before I could get away after three kilometres and Martin Keizer joined me.


"It would have been better if the group had been bigger, then you can recuperate more along the way, while we now both had to do half of the work. Maybe we rode too fast in the first part of the stage, and we should have adjusted our pace to that of the peloton. When we still had an advantage of five minutes with 30 kilometres to go, I believed in it for a moment, but I had not much energy left. On the short climb in the finale I could just catch up with Tim Wellens who had attacked and help him through the descent until the next uphill part.


"I’m happy with the attempt; it was only the first time this year I got in an early breakaway. It will probably hurt tomorrow, but I’m satisfied with where I stand at the moment.”


“The finale was perfect to try something," Wellens said. "With riders like Tony, Tiesj and me we would try something. As a team we definitely showed ourselves. The climb 13 kilometres before the finish was ideal to make the jump. I got Craddock and Gautier with me. After Tosh had pulled for a while I bridged to Keizer and then went solo.


"I really believed in it, it took a while before the peloton got organized and if it would have rained I would have had a bigger chance. I felt good and love to animate the race, that will definitely be the case one of the next days again.”


There was also less positive news from the Lotto Soudal front: Kris Boeckmans abandoned the race. He suffered too much from the consequences of his crash in the second stage.



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