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“When I looked to the right, I saw a wheel approaching. I tried to accelerate afterwards. We were almost at the finish line, but I just couldn’t give anything more. It was just not good enough.”

Photo: A.S.O.








10.05.2015 @ 20:34 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Moreno Hofland nearly took the victory in the second stage of the Giro d’Italia today in Genoa. The young sprinter from Team LottoNL-Jumbo delivered a strong sprint, but was passed by Elia Viviani (Team Sky) just in time. Bert-Jan Lindeman was part of the early breakaway and grabbed the mountain jersey thanks to his effort.


“It was a special day,” sports director, Frans Maassen said after the race. “We asked the riders if they wanted to be in the early breakaway before the race, but nobody was really planning to attack. It was a surprise for us that Bert-Jan was there, nevertheless.”


The strong Dutchman wanted to keep his sports directors happy.


“When they ask you to attack, you have to try it at least,” he explained. “That’s why I broke away immediately when the race started. Afterwards, we took it easy for the whole day and I was aiming for the mountain sprint. When we’re in the last two-hundred metres of such a climb, I’m normally strong enough to take the points.”


“It was a tough climb, and I didn’t know much about the other riders,” Maassen said. “He was strong to be able to win that sprint. This mountain jersey is good for the team’s morale.”


The party could have continued for Team LottoNL-Jumbo because Moreno Hofland nearly won the stage.


“I thought that he was going to take it after he passed André Greipel [Lotto Soudal],” Maassen said. “It’s a pity that he was beaten by Viviani by such a small margin, but he delivered a very good final sprint.”


Hofland assumed that he was going to grab the victory, too.


“When I caught Greipel, it seemed perfect,” Hofland said. “When I looked to the right, I saw a wheel approaching. I tried to accelerate afterwards. We were almost at the finish line, but I just couldn’t give anything more. It was just not good enough.”


Hofland probably will not have another chance on Monday.


“It’s going to be a tricky stage,” Maassen said. “It will be a very hard day for our team. We have to make sure that Steven Kruijswijk is going through in the front. The stage is short and there is a lot of climbing to be done, so I don’t think it’s going to end up in a bunch sprint another time.”



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