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"It’s not a disgrace to be beaten by him and I sprinted really well. I didn’t think about trying something before the sprint, that isn’t my strong point, I was counting on my fast legs."

Photo: A.S.O./X.Bourgois

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TOSH VAN DER SANDE

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11.10.2015 @ 21:02 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Tosh Van der Sande came very close to the victory at Paris-Tours today, only Matteo Trentin finished ahead of him. Together with three teammates Van der Sande was part of a large early breakaway that the peloton couldn’t catch . In the finale Van der Sande got in front with Matteo Trentin and Greg Van Avermaet, this trio entered the last kilometre together.

 

Quite soon after the start there was a crucial move, as 31 riders got in a front group, only six of the 23 teams didn’t have a guy in the break. Lotto Soudal had four riders in the group: Tiesj Benoot, Tony Gallopin, Pim Ligthart and Tosh Van der Sande. They had the company of among other Arnaud Démare, Matteo Trentin and Greg Van Avermaet.

 

Within the last one hundred kilometres there was a counterattack of eighteen riders from the bunch, with last year’s winner Jelle Wallays, Nacer Bouhanni, Marco Marcato, Oliver Naesen and Niki Terpstra. The peloton didn’t play a role anymore, but could this chase group still be a danger to the leaders? No, they got to within two minutes, but the winner would be someone of the early breakaway.

 

In the finale the riders had to cover three climbs: Côte de Crochu, Côte de Beau Soleil and Côte de l’Epan. It was there that riders began to attack. On the Beau Soleil Matteo Trentin raised his pace, Greg Van Avermaet and Tosh Van der Sande were on his wheel. Pavel Brutt joined them for a little while, but was dropped on the last hill.

 

Just before the final kilometre Van Avermaet had mechanical problems, he remained with his two companions, but couldn’t get involved the battle for the victory. In the sprint Tosh Van der Sande got beaten by Matteo Trentin. Tiesj Benoot got fourth, Pim Ligthart tenth. Tony Gallopin crossed the finish line as fifteenth.

 

“I am disappointed that I just missed out on the victory, but I am also satisfied with this performance; so I have mixed feelings. Uphill I could just follow Trentin and Van Avermaet, both were really strong. The three of us could create a sufficient gap, in that phase it wasn’t easy for the others to still bridge to the front. With one and a half kilometres to go I noticed Van Avermaet got a flat tyre, from then on I focused on Trentin. I had hoped he would start sprinting sooner, but he rode the perfect sprint. When he moved to the right for a moment I thought I could get out of the wind, but pretty soon Trentin changed his direction. It’s not a disgrace to be beaten by him and I sprinted really well. I didn’t think about trying something before the sprint, that isn’t my strong point, I was counting on my fast legs,” Tosh Van der Sande said.

 

“We were with four teammates in the front group. We knew the best riders would try to get away on the penultimate or last climb. That’s why we were riding attentively at the front. We had agreed to respond to attacks in turn, no group should get away without a Lotto Soudal rider.

 

"The race went perfectly. It was a tough day. The beginning of the race took us along open fields and there was much wind. We took off with a bunch of strong riders and immediately we worked well together. It was obvious that it would be very difficult for the peloton to close the gap on us, also because so many teams had a rider in front. Everyone did his part of the job, if you would keep riding at the back of the group you could get in trouble because of the wind. There was no moment for recuperation. At the end of the day we had an average speed of 49 kilometres an hour."

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