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"At the finish, Roger Kluge lost his leader’s jersey.  That is not what we hoped to have happen, but from now on, we will have to follow a new plan."

Photo: IAM Cycling








19.06.2015 @ 00:57 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The route and the racers are sometimes not the only difficulties that the riders must face on race day.  That is certainly true in the Netherlands.  For this first stage of the Ster ZLM Toer, the wind joined the party to spice up the proceedings and become a deciding factor after 180.4 kilometers of racing.  Of course the echelons often come with the wind.


Taking advantage of the nervousness of the race and weather conditions, André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) slipped into the front group of about forty riders, and ended up flying to victory.  By crossing the line first, the rider who is lovingly nicknamed the Gorilla of Rostock took a double victory since he was also able to lift the yellow jersey off the shoulders of IAM Cycling’s Roger Kluge. In fact, Marcel Aregger was the only member of the Swiss team who found himself in the right group at the time of the split, which is a pity after IAM Cycling came away with the prologue victory the day before.


Aregger, a young rider from Switzerland, who has already declared as recently as the Tour of Belgium, that he is committed to working for his teammates, was singing from the same song sheet this afternoon. 


“The instructions this morning revolved around protecting Roger Kluge,” Aregger explained.  “For much of the day, Pirmin Lang and I were at the front controlling the breakaway.  The wind was against us from the start of the stage, but it was still bearable.   But then with fifty kilometers to go, it picked up and started blowing very hard from the side, and the peloton just exploded.  I found myself in the leading group, and the others were not able to chase back up to us before the finish. 


"In the finale, I tried to do something, but honestly, I was so spent after riding at the front since the beginning of the stage, that I was no match against the riders who were much fresher.  But I still finished with the leaders.  And as a result of the lead we have in the GC, I am motivated to defend my place overall.  It may be complicated, but I am not scared.”


Rubens Bertogliati’s assessment contrasted slightly in terms of its optimism. 


“I think we certainly were lacking some attention on Thursday, but we also had some bad luck, you have to be honest and admit,” Bertogliati said.  “We planned to work for the sprint and Matteo Pelucchi today. Everything was going well, but then there was a crash.  Fortunately, Matteo was not one of the ones who crashed, but one of the other riders fell and his bike hit Matteo’s, breaking Matteo’s derailleur.  And that happened exactly when the wind kicked up and the echelons hit.  By the time he was back up in the group, it was too late. 


"At the finish, Roger Kluge lost his leader’s jersey.  That is not what we hoped to have happen, but from now on, we will have to follow a new plan.  Marcel Aregger is well placed in the overall classification, so why not rider for him?  He is young and this kind of race can often inspire a rider like him.”



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