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"It was very hectic at the finish, and the sprint was a long one. In the end it was a bit too long for me and two guys overtook me just before the finish."

Photo: A.S.O.






03.10.2014 @ 17:58 Posted by Andy Pedersen

At the end of a hectic second stage of the Tour de l’Eurométropole, Ramon Sinkeldam has sprinted to fourth in the second bunch sprint in as many days.


The run in saw splits and crashes in the bunch, as well as the team suffering from two untimely punctures, but it was still a sprint that decided the stage with Arnaud Démare ( taking his second stage in succession.


Once again the race took a long time to establish itself. An initial group of nine riders finally started to pull clear, containing Bert De Backer to cover affairs for the team, but this also was brought back after a hard 10 kilometres of chasing.


With 115km to race, of the original 174km, a break of five finally was allowed to get clear and build an advantage. They pulled out just over two minutes. Their hold on the front of the race was over with 45km still to race.


With three intermediate sprints, and the bonus seconds to go with, there was a lot to race for before the finish itself. Attacks came and went, and following the first sprint a group of 15 pulled clear. The team were represented again here with Ramon, but this move was to come back before the third intermediate.


From here on in a bunch sprint was looking most likely and the team put their focus on Ramon. Roy Curvers and Koen De Kort were put of out service in the final kilometres with punctures, leaving the team with limited numbers at the front, and only Tom Veelers to bring Ramon into position.


After being brought as far up as possible Ramon he was able to launch his sprint. A podium spot looked very possible until the final metres when he was passed by two riders, putting him just out of the top three.


“It was very hectic at the finish, and the sprint was a long one. In the end it was a bit too long for me and two guys overtook me just before the finish. But I am very happy with my form here and hope to put it to good use in the next few days,” Sinkeldam told the Giant-Shimano website.


“It took a long time for a break to go today and finally a manageable group of five pulled clear. We started to help controlling on the finishing circuits but then the race split after the first sprint, and Ramon was in front,” Coach Marc Reef added.


“With 20km to go it was all back together and on the road the plan was made to go for Ramon in the sprint. Koen and Roy suffered punctures at the wrong time and that left just Tom there to help Ramon at the front. He did a good job but Ramon was passed just before the line for second,” Reef finished. 



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