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"It's been going great in the last few weeks. With this victory I can go to the Tour de France with confidence.” 

Photo Team LottoNL-Jumbo

STER ZLM TOUR

RACE PROFILE
|
NEWS
18.06.2016 @ 00:51 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) got one of his biggest victories in his short career when he won the sprint on the third stage of the Ster ZLM Toer. After an excellent lead-out, he easily held off Timothy Dupont (Veranda’s Willems) and Sean De Bie (Lotto Soudal) who picked up enough bonus seconds to take the overall lead. Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep) could only manage 19th.

 

We have gathered several reactions.

 

Dylan Groenewegen: With this win, I can go to the Tour with confidence

LottoNL-Jumbo’s Dylan Groenewegen sprinted to win the third stage of the Ster ZLM Toer today in Buchten. Belgians Timothy Dupont (Verandas Willems) and Sean De Bie (Lotto Soudal) placed second and third after 210 kilometres. De Bie took the leader's jersey from Jos van Eden through time bonus seconds.

 

"I was again dropped off perfectly today," said Groenewegen. "It was a relatively easy day, actually. We had the hills in Limburg, but I had always team-mates with me. I only have to keep their wheels in front of me and then start the sprint at the right time. I saved a lot of energy thanks to the team so I still had a good sprint."

 

"We controlled the race all day after an escape went at 20 kilometres and kept the gap at four minutes,” Sports Director Nico Verhoeven said. "When a group of 12 bridged, we had Timo Roosen, Sep Vanmarcke and Robert Wagner – three strong men – in it. After a re-grouping, we controlled it again. With only 10 kilometres left, we closed the gap and it was actually one long lead-out.”

 

"That the team with experienced men are working for me is very nice,” Groenewegen added. “It puts pressure on me, but that’s good for me. And the trust in each other grows after such successful sprints. I only have to focus on our own train and I know that I will be dropped off at the right place. I am pleased that our sprint train gets better each sprint.”

 

"It's been going great in the last few weeks. With this victory I can go to the Tour de France with confidence.”

 

Van Emden lost the leader's jersey to De Bie and fell one second back.

 

“Looking at the bright side, it gives us some rest,” Verhoeven said. “In the past two days, we rode the whole stage in the front and that was tough. We won twice now, but with four men in the top 10, everything is possible.”

 

Tomorrow should be too tough for Groenewegen to sprint. Groenewegen added, “For the Ardennes, we have guys who are better than me. I want to give something back to them for helping me."

 

Timothy Dupont continues breakthrough season with great performance at Ster ZLM Toer

In the third stage of the Ster ZLM Toer Timothy Dupont took second place. Gianni Vermeersch was the second rider of Verandas Willems in the top ten. He was seventh. 

 

"In the last corner I was just too far back. I think I was in 5th or 6th position. Dylan Groenewegen had a teammate in front of him untill 200 meters of the line," Dupont explains. "It was a very difficult course in the hills of Limburg that we also know from the Amstel Gold Race. Moreover, the weather was very bad with lots of rain.  I can do well in bad weather. This is often a mental thing. 

 

"Here we ride with World Tour teams and world-class sprinters like Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel. It is normal that a continental team gives the initiative to the big teams but at Verandas Willems we did well with Yuri, Elias [van Breusseghem], Gianni and myself. They have done a perfect job. Unfortunately, Sander [Cordeel] was sick today and Aidis [Kruopis] could not continue due to an injury."

 

“It was a nervous day, "explains Gianni Vermeersch. "After the Cauberg, LottoNL-Jumbo rode very hard until the local laps. With the rain was quite hectic there. The team brought Timothy perfectly to the front. We tried to keep him well in front but I lost him two kilometers from the finish. He was already well placed. Unfortunately I did not get more time to get back to him for the sprint.

 

“When I'm at the start of a race, I do so to win. But Gianni is also strong. It will all depend on how the race tomorrow is done,” said Dupont. 

 

In 2014, Vermeersch was eighth in the queen stage. 

 

"I do not know if I'm just as good this year as I was then. Today I did not have a good feeling on the climbs but I got the rhythm of the hills. I hope that tomorrow will be fine. "

 

Sean De Bie: When you have the best lead-out in the world, you can do a little bit more

Sean De Bie finished third and took the leader’s jersey.

 

”When you hear you can do the Sprint with the best lead-out guys in the world, you can do that little bit more! Thanks boys,” he tweeted after the stage.

 

Søren Kragh Andersen gets the chance to sprint at Ster ZLM Toer

Søren Kragh Andersen sprinted to 4th place on stage 3 at the Ster ZLM Toer.

 

Tom Stamsnijder and Carter Jones, unfortunately  did not finish the race today.

 

Søren Kragh Andersen said: “It was a hard and rainy day but I felt in quite a good shape throughout the race. I am very pleased that the team gave me the opportunity to sprint today and I did my best to get a good result.”

 

Coach Mattias Reck added: “Today was a tough day with a good tempo set in the bunch throughout the whole race. We rode in rainy conditions and that made it tricky especially in the corners with the roads very wet.

 

“It was quite an eventful stage with a lot of offensive riding from the big teams. After the hilly first 120km, it all came back together and we prepared a sprint for Søren who felt very good. With a good team effort and positioning, Søren finished fourth in a close finish.”

 

Jempy Drucker achieves unintended top result at Ster ZLM Toer

After being denied victory yesterday, it was the turn of the sprinters at Ster ZLM Toer - GP Jan van Heeswijk today with Dylan Groenewegen (Team Lotto-Jumbo) taking victory, while Jempy Drucker finished sixth for BMC Racing Team.

 

After picking up time bonuses early in the race, Taylor Phinney and Stefan Küng finished safely inside the main bunch however with Sean de Bie (Lotto Soudal) third on the line and taking the leader’s jersey, they pair now sit third and fourth on the General Classification.

 

Sport director Jackson Stewart said:

 

“It was a pretty tough day. On paper it was a hard stage but everyone thought that it wouldn’t be raced too hard as it was such a long way to the finish but in the end there were lots of team riding aggressively, especially in the middle section of the race, and we were part of that.

 

“We made a move with a group of around 12 riders and 100 kilometers to go, which put us leader on the road, but that was quickly brought back. We then finished second and third with Taylor and Stefan at the intermediate sprint shortly after to gain some time bonuses. The race eventually came down to a bunch sprint and it was good to see Jempy in the mix there at the end.”

 

Jempy Drucker said:

 

“It was pretty wet stage and in the middle there were a lot of attacks so there was some action on the way to the finish. The circuit was quite technical with lots of corners and ups and downs and with the weather conditions it was pretty nervous and we tried to stay in front all of the day.

 

“The riders made it as hard as they wanted and today, especially Lotto, really wanted to do a hard race so we tried also to be up there. The plan wasn’t for me to be in there sprint, I went up front to keep out GC guys out of trouble and then I slipped into a god positions with 2 kilometers to go so I decided to give it a go. I was feeling in good shape and with 500 meters to go, I was in Kittel’s wheel but then a gap was opened up so missed out in the end.”

 

Still no result for Marcel Kittel at Ster ZLM Toer

Marcel Kittel could only manage 19th.

 

”So far it didn't really workout for the team & me here in the #SterZLMToer. But main priority is to stay safe & get the intensity. The legs feel good. That makes me happy! And there are still 2 stages left. Let's see what happens,” he tweeted.

 

"For me it just about doing the work for the Tour and I am not too stressed,” he told Radsport News. “The stress comes in two and a half weeks. Here we can try something. It's also about doing the tough stages like today and going deep tomorrow. After that, it is all about recovery.”

 

Wout Van Aert on the attack at the Ster ZLM Toer

Wout Van Aert liked the rainy conditions and after a late attack he was the most aggressive rider.

 

The day started badly for Crelan. David Boucher had to leave the race after a heavy bout of fever.

 

“I had absolutely no energy in the legs.  Hopefully I will get ok for next Thursday when the Belgian TT Championships are scheduled. "

 

Wout van Aert attacked with 70km to go. However, he lost his good GC position in the finale.

 

"In the finale I was absolutely shattered," he admitted afterwards. It was 'full' chocolate ' as we say. That attack had indeed cost some energu. In itself, it is not a bad thing because it was good training for the Belgian Championships. But my GC is ruined. Now I have to recover and try to go deep in the queen stage.”

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