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"It was unfortunate that Theo was in the group that could not follow. They almost managed to get back, but on the next climb, they fell back again," Boven says

Photo: Belkin Pro Cycling Team








28.07.2014 @ 12:41 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Yesterday's stage was the final chance for the pure sprinters in the Tour de Wallonie but even though the stage was expected to end in a bunch sprint, it still included a few climbs. They proved to be too hard for Theo Bos and so Nick van der Lijke had to take over sprinting duties for Belkin.


The Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM punched into the top ten in the second stage of the Tour de Wallonie, as Nick van der Lijke sprinted to ninth in a bunch sprint. 

Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) won the 193-kilometre stage to Perwez, and Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) wears the leaders jersey. 

"After the first kilometers, a group of four riders escaped," said Sports Director Jan Boven. "At the intermediate part [section in between the four climbs], we had hoped to control more, but that was not possible as the peloton was well controlled by Lotto-Belisol."

Belkin rider Nick van der Lijke felt strong Sunday even though it was very warm.


"I felt good. It was a nervous day with short climbs and there and the pace was high," van der Lijke said. "I was able to stay in the peloton and, as the breakaway only consisted of four men, there was not much going on."

Belkin's Theo Bos was among 12 riders who lost contact on the final hills.

"It was unfortunate that Theo was in the group that could not follow. They almost managed to get back, but on the next climb, they fell back again," Boven said.

Van der Lijke was in a good position on the final kilometre, but still had to make a sprint just before the last corner.


"At the last moment a group came alongside, so I had to push to maintain my position by sprinting just before the corner, about 250 meters from the finish. I came around the corner 11th and was able to pass two other riders. It's nice to finish top ten, but hopefully I can do better the coming days”, said Van der Lijke.


Barry Markus, who fractured his hand two months ago and started yesterday for the first time since his injury, did not appear at the start. The sprinter suffered gastrointestinal problems.


"We knew it would not be easy. Barry was just within time cut yesterday. As his situation had not improved, we decided this morning not to start him. He must restore a few days," Boven said.


"Monday we have a stage 3 of 174 kilometers. Halfway through the stage we have some climbs. I hope there is more room to control the race.”



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