Hard and wild race, brave performance by our team, but no result
Sittard, August 11th 2017 – Today the stage starts and finishes at the beautiful Tom Dumoulin Bike Park, which saw a lot of fans enjoying a rain-free day. Peloton was really working hard to prevent breakaway and first breakaway with out Ion Ander Insausti didn’t last long, but second breakaway went through with 7 riders and they had maximum 3 minutes difference on peloton. About 50km to go due to some wind and sharp turns peloton split, all “golden helmets” were caught in the second group since they were riding towards the end of peloton. BMC with the race leader also got caught in the second group and they were working hard to bridge the gap, but about 30 riders in the front group led by Lotto Soudal and Sunweb were working really hard to keep the gap. 22km to go all but 2 breakaway riders were “eaten” by the first group, and few km later the second group made up the. 2 breakaway guys kept running away and had 25 second gap 18km to go. From that point it got hectic and there were too many attacks. Tom Dumoulin, Peter Sagan and 8 more riders were involved in last breakaway that made it to the finish line. In the last km Lars Boom escaped the rest of the group and had time to celebrate even before crossing the finish line. Peter Sagan got second place and is now second overall, 2 seconds behind new leader Lars Boom.
Luka Pibernik crashed but recovered and said: “It was full gas race, and then I crashed, so for me it was even harder. At the end I was caught in the second group and it took some effort to catch back, but it was too much to do some damage at the finish line.”
“It was really tough, a lot of punctures, a lot of crashes, fortunately we have the best materials so no punctures for us. We did have a small crash though not so bad. In the end, the guys did a good job, because I didn’t pick up any riders in the back, nobody folded out from the group when it was fast in the finals. They did a good job, and Luka tried really hard to go up front. When we got caught in the second group it is just unfortunate, as the roads are so narrow, so unless you are in first two, three rows, you have no time to react, you are in the cage, and you can’t go out. We were all in the second group only seconds behind, and I think we can be proud of that, and I’m optimistic for next days ahead.” – our Sports Director Harald Morscher was pleased with team’s performance.