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"I felt that I was still able to fight for a podium finish or even the win but on the final lap I had another mechanical which cost me. I dropped back to sixth and managed to get just one place back. I’m disappointed as I felt th...

Photo: John de Jong






10.11.2014 @ 11:28 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lars van der Haar finished fifth in the Superprestige race in Ruddervoorde. However, the Dutch champion was left disappointed as two mechanicals set him back.


Lars van der Haar had to fight back from an untimely mid-race puncture that saw him lose a lot of ground to the race leaders at the third race in the Superprestige series at Ruddervoorde, Belgium.


Having got the race off to a perfect start, again taking the hole shot through the first corner, van der Haar pushed on and spent the opening few laps in a select group of three out front. This group was to swell to seven as riders made their way back to the front of the race and it was after this group had grown in number that misfortune struck for the Dutch national cyclo-cross champion.


Coming around a tight left-hand bend after 30 minutes of racing the rider in front of van der Haar came unstuck and went over the handlebars. Van der Haar look evasive action to avoid coming down himself but in doing so his bike got tangled with the rider on the floor. In all of this van der Haar also suffered a front wheel puncture and despite being back up and riding fairly quickly, he was losing ground to the lead group.


He continued to press on and after a quick change in the pits he was back out on a fresh bike and trying to close the gap to the front riders.


After 45 minutes of racing he was back in contact with the second of two small groups that had formed and another 10 minutes later he was back in contention in the lead group. However when the hard attacks came late on he was at a disadvantage after the hard efforts he had put in to get back to the front and he dropped off the pace to come over the line in fifth behind a lead group of four who sprinted out the race win, with Tom Meeusen (Telenet – Fidea) coming through strongest.


After the race, van der Haar said: “I felt good today but bad luck broke me. Firstly I got caught in a crash mid-way that I couldn’t avoid. I rode into his crank and flatted. It happened just after the pits so I had lost 20 seconds before I could change bikes.


“It was a long chase but I managed it and then felt like I was getting back into the race. I felt that I was still able to fight for a podium finish or even the win but on the final lap I had another mechanical which cost me. I dropped back to sixth and managed to get just one place back. I’m disappointed as I felt that I was one of the the strongest today.”



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