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"It did not feel great, but a time trial has to hurt. Luckily, I had some energy left in the end to give everything. And that last part was the hardest, and I was able to push a larger gear and make a difference."

Photo: Sirotti


16.06.2016 @ 00:37 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

One month after the huge disappointment at the Giro d’Italia, Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) got his revenge in another prologue on home soil when he won the opening stage of the Ster ZLM Toer. The Dutchman was in a class of his own on the technical 6.4km course as he beat the BMC pair of Taylor Phinney and Stefan Küng by 3 and 4 seconds respectively to move into first position in the overall standings.


We have gathered several reactions.


Victorious Jos van Emden: A time trial has to hurt

Jos van Emden won the opening 6.4-kilometre time trial of the Ster ZLM Toer in 7’23". The LottoNL-Jumbo cyclist was three seconds faster than the American Taylor Phinney (BMC). Swiss Stefan Küng placed third.


 “I do not often win, so I am very happy with it,” said van Emden. "It did not feel great, but a time trial has to hurt. Luckily, I had some energy left in the end to give everything. And that last part was the hardest, and I was able to push a larger gear and make a difference."


 "This is a beautiful win,” added Sports Director Nico Verhoeven. "Jos van Emden began not too fast but after that, he came on strong. With only a kilometre left, he was on the schedule for the fastest time at that moment. And if you see that he is still able to go 60kph then you know it is a good final kilometre. In the last kilometre, he went three seconds faster than the rest."


"I hope to keep the jersey as long as possible, which should be possible in the stage between around Oss tomorrow, but you never know. I’ll enjoy this first," said the new leader.


Verhoeven is already happy with the team’s ride in the tour.


He said, “We're not just going to give the jersey away. We want to keep it as long as possible. We are here with Dylan Groenewegen also to win stages."


BMC with mixed emotions after near-miss in Ster ZLM Toer prologue

Ster ZLM Toer - GP Jan van Heeswijk opened with a fast and flat time trial around Goes which saw Taylor Phinney and Stefan Küng finish second and third respectively for BMC Racing Team.


Phinney and Küng were able find the perfect combination of power and bike handling skills over the technical 6.4km course with both riders setting fastest times before eventually being edged out by todays winner, Jos van Emden (Team Lotto Jumbo).


Sport director, Jackson Stewart said: "It was good. It's always a weird feeling when you are doing really well and then you don't win but we definitely can't be down about how we did today. I think we expected that Taylor and Stefan would be really strong today. I think when you have that calibre of rider on the team you just start to expect strong performances. Of course you still have to work for it and today we were unfortunate not to get the win but that's how it goes and we gave it everything we had."


Taylor Phinney: This stage reminded me of what Iam best at

Taylor Phinney said: "I think today went well. It's such a short stage I don't really remember most of it but I was having a good time. I haven't done a prologue in a long time so it was nice to get back out there and it reminded of what I am best at doing on a bicycle.


"This was the first time I have raced in my national championships skinsuit. I was wearing the one I had made in 2014 but never got to wear because of my broken leg. It felt good to wear it for the first time, two years later. It could have been three seconds luckier though but it was good.


"We will see how the rest of the race goes. We are all looking forward to some of the hillier stages and I think Stage 4 will be where the race really unfolds. Between Stefan, myself and the rest of the guys, we have a strong team here and spirits are high as we look ahead to the rest of the week." 


Stefan Küng: We will try to win the Ster ZLM Toer

Stefan Küng said:"After the Giro I had quite a busy week and then over the last few days I have tried to recover as much as possible. I knew I could be good today but I also knew that I hadn't prepared specifically for this prologue so I just tried to give it my best. I lacked a little bit of explosivity but apart from that I gave it everything I had but unfortunately it wasn't enough for the win today.


"I am feeling good and I am looking confidently ahead to the rest of the race. This prologue got the engine running again for me and with Taylor sitting in second as well, I think we have an opportunity to do well and go for the win at this race. We will try everything to do that."



New personal record for Sean De Bie in Ster ZLM Toer opener

Lotto Soudal’s Sean De Bie was fifth.


“Prologues are there to set new PBs,” he tweeted while posting a photo of his computer that showed an average power output of 469 watt.


Good start for Niki Terpstra and Marcel Kittel in Ster ZLM Toer prologue

A pan-flat 6.4-km long individual time trial was in store for the riders on the opening day of Ster ZLM Toer, a race which saw Etixx – Quick-Step line up a strong and experienced eight-man squad. Returning to racing following a one month break he took after winning two stages at the 99th Giro d'Italia, Marcel Kittel was among the last ones to roll down the ramp and the former two-time ITT World Junior Champion – who before the start met with the kids of the cycling club in Zeeland – had a very solid ride, confirming that these short and intense type of efforts suit him well.


Kittel stopped the clock in 7:32, just 9 seconds behind Jos Van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo), who took the laurels after defeating two BMC riders, Taylor Phinney and Stefan Kueng. Goes, which was hosting the opening ITT for the second season in a row, had another Etixx – Quick-Step rider among the protagonists. Coming off a strong Criterium du Dauphiné, where he supported Daniel Martin and Julian Alaphilippe, Niki Terpstra showed that he had a good recovery after the hard work and big effort he put in the week-long French race and sloted into 7th place, only a handful of seconds adrift, while in the same time putting time between him and the other contenders for the general classification.


”Good result in the prologue of the #SterZLMToer today. Some nice stages coming up,” Terpstra tweeted.


No second prologue victory for Wout Van Aert in Ster ZLM Toer opener

There was no repeat win for Wout van Aert who won the Belgium Tour prologue. However, he still had a good ride to take 9th.


"I can live with that," said Wout van Aert afterwards. "This was damn hard. During seven minutes, you can really break yourself. I have only caught my breath now,” he said.


He is less prepared than he was at the Belgium Tour. 


"That was more of a goal. These five days are preparation for the Belgian Championships.  I also felt that I had less strength on the long stretches. But again, I'm not unhappy. After a few weeks of hard training, this is the ideal start towards the championships, the main goal of my summer. "


Will he go for the GC? 


"Wait and see. Basically it will be decided on Saturday in the stage to La Gileppe. We have to see if there is a selection or if the peloton stays together to the finish.”


His teammate David Boucher also did well but he was not satisfied.


"7'41" is not good enough," said Boucher. "I lacked strength in the legs. It did not come out. If I want to make a bid for the Belgian time trial title next week, it will have to be better."


Søren Kragh and Nikias Arndt come up short in Ster ZLM Toer prologue

For Team Giant-Alpecin Søren Kragh Andersen was the fastest at 12th, finishing 10″ behind the winner. He was closely followed by Nikias Arndt who finished 15th.


Søren Kragh Andersen said: “I think it was a good performance and I gained vital experience during this prologue. I am constantly progressing which is a good sign.”


Nikias Arndt said: “I was hoping for a bit higher in the classification but I am feeling good which is positive for the upcoming stages.


Coach Mattias Reck added: “It was a very fast time trial with a strong starting field with quite a few specialists. Our key riders for this stage were Nikias and Søren and they did a good performance. It was also nice to see Max [Walscheid] taking positives steps on his way back. Now we can look forward to tomorrow stage.”



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