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"At one kilometer from the finish we had left, right, left - tricky turns - and you absolutely needed to be in the front and we were there. It was a fantastic team effort today. Very good to see!”

Photo: Trek Factory Racing

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14.08.2014 @ 19:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having received criticism from sports director Dirk Demol, Trek bounced back with a great showing in today's sprint stage of the Eneco Tour. The team completely dominated the finale before delivering Giacomo Nizzolo to a third place.

 

The 179-kilometer stage four ended in a bunch sprint as envisaged by director Dirk Demol yesterday. Today, Giacomo Nizzolo received the nod as the designated sprinter and Trek Factory Racing rallied around the Italian to give the team a united and much-needed result with Nizzolo sprinting to third place.

 

“The team did a great job today," Nizzolo said. "The feeling the first two days was not very good and this result is good for the morale. I hope now it will be better over the next days.

 

"The whole team worked super well all day long. There was not too much wind, which was nice, and we stayed together all day and that was really great to see. It was the most important thing for us to pull together like this after the first two days did not go well for us.”

 

"In the meeting this morning I told the boys that they are as strong as any team here, and just go," sports director Dirk Demol said. "They need to be more aggresive and more ballsy and just do it. I was so happy to see today that they did."

 

The peloton was in full flight in the final kilometers. Everyone knew it was necessary to to be in the first positions for a series of tricky corners just before the flamme rouge, and it was a fierce fight to the first right-hander.

 

Trek Factory Racing controlled the last crucial kilometers with Fabian Cancellara taking a monster pull from the two-kilometer banner all the way through the dicey corners - Boy van Poppel and Nizzolo in his slipstream. When Cancellara finally pulled off Van Poppel drove hard. At 500 meters to go Trek Factory Racing lost its grip at the front as others began to move forward.  But it was enough. Nizzolo jumped to faster wheels then launched his final kick. However, no one could match Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr), who proved fastest again. Luka Mezgec (Giant-Shimano) finished second.

 

“Fabian did a really strong, long pull," Nizzolo said. "It’s always impressive when he’s in the front! With one kilometer to go he pulled out and Boy pulled - also a very good pull. Then at 500 meters other teams began to come and it was a little bit chaos and then I had to move up by myself. 

 

"I think it was the best I could do today. My feeling after Wallonie was not great and I am still on the way to come back, so it was difficult to do better in the end. It was not a bad result for me, I am happy with it, and I will keep moving forward.”

 

“They did very well," sports director Luc Meersman said. "At one kilometer from the finish we had left, right, left - tricky turns - and you absolutely needed to be in the front and we were there. It was a fantastic team effort today. Very good to see!”

 

Just as the sprinters fired their cylinders a gnarly crash happened directly behind that left a few injuries in its wake, including defending champion and overall favorite Zdenek Stybar (OPQS) who was forced out of the race with an apparent head injury.

 

For the next three days the Eneco Tour begins the hilly stages, and with a tight overall classification separated by seconds, a tactical and fierce battle for the GC will certainly begin to unfold.

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