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"Along the way I screwed it up completely in the two intermediate sprints. So I just wondered what I should do if we should fight for victory. Thankfully it went well in that most important sprint."

Photo: Jérémy-Günther-Heinz Jähnick

STER ZLM TOUR

RACE PROFILE
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NEWS
17.06.2016 @ 00:24 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Wesley Kreder (Roompot) became a hugely surprising winner of the second stage of the Ster ZLM Toer when the Dutchman and two companions denied the sprint stars the chance to battle it out for the victory. Having held off the peloton by 10 seconds, he beat Twan van den Brand (Jo Piels) and Merijn Korevaar (Rabobank) in a 3-rider sprint while a frustrated Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep) had to settle for fourth after beating Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) and André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) in the bunch kick. Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) retained the lead.

 

We have gathered several reactions

 

Wesley Kreder: I finally got it right in the most important sprint of the day

With two victories in one day, including the first in the UCI WorldTour, Roompot - Orange peloton had a unique moment in its young history. Pieter Weening took a victory in a tough mountain stage in the Tour de Suisse and Wesley Kreder won the second stage in the Ster ZLM Toer.

 

"I started best the sprint with some doubts. Along the way those riders beat me in the intermediate sprints. I thought ‘that's not going to happen when it comes to the victory," Kreder said afterwards. 

 

The driver who in recent years especially has developed into a lead-out man for cousin Raymond, confirmed what team manager Michel Cornelisse had long claimed was possible. 

 

"Michel often asks me to try my luck with a group to have the chance to finish it off. He said it this morning before the start. It is fantastic that it worked," said Kreder wo took his second victory after his victory in the Tour du Vendée four years ago.

 

“I'm really not quite sure whether it really happened. Along the way I screwed it up completely in the two intermediate sprints. So I just wondered what I should do if we should fight for victory. Thankfully it went well in that most important sprint. I could keep on riding until the last corner. Then I waited until 300, 250 meters from the finish before I started. I saw Van den Brand getting closer, and then I just thought "If I blow up, I'm really screwed." Thank God that did not happen. Finally I got that win.”

 

Rabobank youngster close to fantastic win at Ster ZLM Toer

Rabobank’s Merijn Korevaar was third and took the sprints jersey. At the briefing, manager Grischa Niermann had asked his riders to go for the sprints.

 

“The main aim is obviously to win a stage, but at this level it is a huge task for the young boys. You have to see where you have a real chance. And today we went for the intermediate sprints,” he said.

 

"With twenty kilometers, they had two minutes. The I began to believe in it a little bit. Eventually they made it. In the sprint Merijn did not have much more, but that was not so crazy. Third in such a stage at this level is just a very good result.”

 

The team lost Martijn Budding 10km from the finish. He was involvd in a crash but sustained no injuries.

 

"We'll see what is still possible in the next stages,” Niermann said.

 

Marcel Kittel: Other chances will come

The peloton came home ten seconds later, and Marcel Kittel was the one who crossed the line first, in 4th position on the stage, a result which was seen as reassuring by the 28-year-old German, despite the bitter taste it left him with:

 

"It was a nice stage, which suited me, and it's disappointing to see the breakaway stay clear. On a positive note, the team was up there helping and protecting me, whilst I felt good throughout the day and in the sprint, and this gives me confidence for the next stages. Other chances will come."
 

Jos van Emden retains the lead, Dylan Groenewegen goes up against Kittel

Jos van Emden retained his yellow jersey lead in the Ster ZLM Toer today. Wesley Kreder won the second stage in Oss, the Netherlands. The team Roompot cyclist remained from an early escape. Dylan Groenewegen sprinted to fifth place, second in the bunch behind Marcel Kittel.

 

Early in the stage, a group rode free with Jasper Hamilink (Metec-TKH), Merry Korevaar (Rabobank), Twan van den Brand (Jo Piels) and Wesley Kreder (Roompot). Kreder beat his rivals and 10 seconds later, Kittel (Etixx-Quick Step) led the group sprint.

 

“Escapees have an advantage in the rain,” Van Emden said. “The final was harder than you might think. I had to go deep. I was hoping that Dylan was going to win, and not Kittel."

 

"It was a race with two goals: the leader's jersey and a sprint win,” said Sports Director Nico Verhoeven. "If some other team has the leader's jersey you can control the break with two teams, but it all fell on our shoulders. You may have to sacrifice everyone, and doing so, you pull for another rival rider."

 

“With only 200 meters out, I started my sprint and only Kittel passed me,” Groenewegen said. “Unfortunately, it was for the fourth place. I am satisfied, I sprinted well.

 

“Today, we spent the whole day riding in the lead, but we have strong men here to do so. I think we will have two more chances, one tomorrow and one Sunday.”

 

Cyclo-cross rider mixes it up with the stars at Ster ZLM Toer

Crelan’s Tim Merlier was satisfied with his 8th place. Until he heard that three riders had stayed away

 

“Really? Ah, then I don’t know. I'm eight instead of fifth, right? Not bad, I guess. More was possible though.

 

Merlier praised leader Wout van Aert. 

 

"He kept me perfectly in front in the closing stages. Ten kilometers from the finish, I was in 20th. I did not move further up at that point. After all, I do not want to bring the riders that go to the Tour, at risk. I keep an eye on that.

 

"In the finale, there were still a lot of position changes. Whenever you move up, you move back immediately. But Wout brought me to the front twice. He was strong. The last time I even had to let him go again because he went too fast.”

 

In the last three kilometers Merlier was on his own. 

 

"All in all it went pretty well. I could move up in the corners and so even save some strength. After the last bend I thought I still had something leftuntil I felt the headwind. Thus, I had to let Greipel pass me but that is not the greatest shame.”

 

Nikias Arndt disappointed not to sprint for victory at Ster ZLM Toer

Marcel Kittel (Etixx – Quick Step), led the peloton home in the fourth position, with Nikias Arndt finishing in 9th place.

 

Giant-Alpecin coach Mattias Reck said: “It was a flat and relatively easy stage today because there was no wind. The race was controlled by Lotto Jumbo and in the finale Etixx-Quick Step tried to close the advantage to breakaway but it was too late.

 

“The guys felt good throughout the day and we will continue to work on our sprint preparations and lead-out.”

 

Nikias Arndt added: “It was a nice race today. I’m happy that everyone of us stayed on the bike. We went aiming for the sprint today but the break managed to stay clear until the end. Therefore, it was disappointing that we didn’t sprint for the victory. But overall the team did a really good job and brought me into a great position for the sprint.”

 

Phinney and Küng stay safe in flat stage at Ster ZLM Toer

Taylor Phinney and Stefan Küng both finished safely inside the main bunch to maintain their second and third spots on the General Classification, behind Team Lotto-Jumbo’s Jos Van Emden

 

Sports director Jackson Stewart said:

 

“I think going into today’s stage everyone expected that it would be sprinter’s stage. With 20 kilometres to go, we started to realised that perhaps the breakaway had a chance to make it and then with 10 kilometers to go it really looked like they could win.

 

"I think for Team Lotto-Jumbo, it was a good thing that the break was able to go all the way as they were able to keep the GC lead. For us it didn’t change anything really and we are still in a good position as we look ahead to the rest of the race.”

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