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“I was expecting that the sprinters were suffering a little more than I was. That’s why I wanted to go for it. I was well placed, but it was a headwind finish so many men were able to make it to the front."

Photo: Belkin Pro Cycling Team

STEVEN KRUIJSWIJK

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TEAM JUMBO-VISMA

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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19.07.2015 @ 19:55 Posted by Andy Pedersen

The fifteenth stage of the Tour de France began with a large escape that included LottoNL-Jumbo rider Steven Kruijswijk and ended in a bunch kick, won by André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal). Paul Martens placed 14th behind Greipel.

 

“It was a tough day,” Kruijswijk said after the race. “I was part of big leading group, but we didn’t get much space. I knew that it was going to be another day in the peloton at that moment. Nine riders escaped out of our leading group of 27, but Team Katusha made sure that the gap to the escape stayed very small. It wouldn’t make sense for me to try to follow those nine riders. It’s a pity because I was feeling good today.”

 

When it became clear that the stage was going to end up in a bunch sprint, in spite of the though profile in the beginning, Paul Martens thought that it was in his advantage.

 

“I was expecting that the sprinters were suffering a little more than I was,” he added. “That’s why I wanted to go for it. I was well placed, but it was a headwind finish so many men were able to make it to the front. I was scared for a while in the sprint. Peter Sagan and Bryan Coquard touched each other and that almost caused a crash. Unconsciously, you’re quieter when something like that happens.”

 

“We knew that there was a chance that it was going to end up in a bunch sprint,” Sports Director Nico Verhoeven said. “Team Katusha worked hard for it. Everything came back together with 30 kilometres to go. Some of our men were trying to be part of the early breakaway, but the tough profile in the beginning of the stage made it difficult.

 

“Tomorrow, it’s going to be the opposite. That stage starts quite easily, but turns hard in the end. When you’re in the breakaway, you have to be a good climber to hold a lead.”

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