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"Unfortunately in the run in we picked the wrong side of the road and ended up with nowhere to go, behind slower riders, so we couldn’t really sprint. It was something we can learn from though," Sinkeldam says

Photo: A.S.O.






25.05.2014 @ 12:06 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

With several sprinters on the roster, Giant-Shimano was expected to have a big impact on yesterday's first stage of the World Ports Classic. However, a failed lead-out derailed the plans to set up Nikias Arndt for the sprint and the team had to be consoled with he white jersey for Ramon Sinkeldam.


Thanks to picking up vital bonus seconds along the route of the opening stage of World Ports Classic, Ramon Sinkeldam sits in fourth overall. Ramon finished 19th on the stage with Jonas Ahlstrand and Nikias Arndt ahead in 11th and 17th respectively in a bunch sprint.


Stage 1 of the World Ports Classic took the riders from Rotterdam to Antwerp and given the route and terrain you would usually be right in thinking that crosswinds would have a big part to play in the outcome of the race. However with a headwind for the majority of the first half of the race and then no real crosswinds after this to split the bunch the race ended up coming back together for a bunch sprint.


A small break did initially move clear but it was reeled back in before the second intermediate sprint point at which point Sinkeldam made the most of a few splits in the peloton to attack and gain some ground before the sprint. Together with two others he held on to the sprint and took the maximum bonus seconds before sitting up and waiting for the peloton.


In the final kilometres a mix up in coordination of the sprint train saw the team blocked and out of the top 10 with Ahlstrand finishing fastest in 11th.


“The plan was to go for Nikias for the sprint today but we messed up at the finish which is frustrating,” confirmed Sinkeldam after the finish. “This is a great race where there’s normally a big opportunity for the bunch to split in echelons but unfortunately we never really had any crosswinds today.


“The bunch started to break slightly before the second sprint point and with riders also being caught at this time I chose to attack and try to get away before the sprint point. The plan was for Jonas and I to go for these if possible before then helping Nikias at the finish.


“I got the bonus seconds and then sat up to go back and help Nikias. Unfortunately in the run in we picked the wrong side of the road and ended up with nowhere to go, behind slower riders, so we couldn’t really sprint. It was something we can learn from though and to make things a bit better I took the young rider’s jersey and am fourth on GC going into tomorrow’s final stage.”



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