Eneco Tour: Team Time Trial win for Orica-GreenEdge

Orica-GreenEdge won the Eneco Tour stage two team time trial in Sittard on Tuesday covering the 18.9 kilometre course in 21:08.

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The Australian team beat Omega Pharma-QuickStep by less than a second to move Jens Keukeleire into the race leader’s jersey and is the second WorldTour team time trial victory for ORICA-GreenEDGE, who also won the team discipline at Tirreno Adriatico.

Orica-GreenEdge get under way in the Team Time Trial, stage 2. Photo: Thomas Bracht

“I knew we had a chance for the win,” said Sports Director Laurenzo Lapage. “The time gaps between the top teams can often be small, and it comes down to every little detail. I said yesterday we were looking for a top three finish. It’s never good to come into the team time trial too confident.”

Aidis Kruopis started stage two in fourth place, tied for time with Taylor Phinney (BMC). Having earned bonus seconds on the intermediate sprint yesterday, Kruopis was well-poised to move into the leader’s jersey until he lost contact with the team due to a flat tire.

“The flat tire is obviously not something we can control,” said Lapage. “What we can control is how we react to what happens. The team kept everything together even after Aidis was gone, and this helped us win today.” ORICA-GreenEDGE finished with five riders. Sebastian Langeveld, Svein Tuft, Luke Durbridge, Jens Mouris and Keukeleire powered across the line together.

“Finishing a team time trial with a complete team is never a good sign,” said Lapage. “Leigh Howard and Fumy Beppu did a great job before getting dropped.” “We never thought about who would take the leader’s jersey,” Lapage added. “Who has the jersey isn’t important. The team win was the important thing. Normally, Aidis would have taken it, but after the mechanical problem, anyone who got to the finish had a chance.”

Lapage believes the team can hold onto the jersey throughout the week. “It now becomes important that we arrive at the time trial on Saturday with a number of riders in contention,” said Lapage. “If we do that, everything is possible.”

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Win for Orica-GreenEdge in the Team Time Trial. Photo: Thomas Bracht

Second to Tom Boonen’s Team, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
The Belgian outfit fell just short of victory on Tuesday, finishing a mere second lower than Orica-GreenEDGE in the 18km time trial, finishing with a time of 21 minutes and nine seconds. “The parcour was not so technical,” Kwiatkowski said. “It was fast and there were only three roundabouts where we had to be careful. I don’t think we made any mistakes. It’s not so bad if you consider that we don’t train a lot for this discipline. We did a good recon before the race where we did two laps of the circuit and all the guys knew where we should have to pay attention.”

Boonen said “it’s not good to lose by only one second, but it’s a part of the job. In any case we showed that we are in good shape and ready to fight in the next days. I think it was the best Team Time Trial I’ve ever ridden but it wasn’t enough today,” Boonen said.

Tom Boonen leads the Quickstep team to second place. Photo: OPQS/Tim de Waele

“We didn’t make mistakes but maybe we still have to work on little details. We can improve and that’s whats important. We can improve on the positioning and other little things. But today’s result is great even if we didn’t win. We have time before the TTT World Championship, even if it will be completely different.”

“The distance will be different and the team will have to ride with only six guys. We will see. We have a strong team, some of our best time trialists were not present today so, we can only improve.”

“It was a good TTT,” Niki Terpstra said. “The wind was really strong and sometimes dangerous. We did well. When you lose for less then a second it’s also a question of luck. Tomorrow it’s a nice stage with the Cauberg. But the climb is pretty far from the finish, so I don’t think it will be a factor. We can always try to attack but it won’t be easy — it depends also on the wind. The team is strong, the TTT showed our strengh. We have a lot of riders who can be good. It will be a funny race until the end.”

Alberto Contador getting some racing in after returning from suspension. Photo: Thomas Bracht

Crash for BMC compromises victory
BMC Racing Team’s Manuel Quinziato and Klaas Lodewyck were involved in a crash during the 18.9-kilometers team time trial of Eneco Tour second stage. While the BMC Racing Team’s riders were riding full speed, after 8km Quinziato and Lodewyck could not avoid a crash, explains BMC Racing Team’s sport director assistant Max Sciandri.

“We were not in a perfect line, so I asked to Alessandro (Ballan) to move and I saw Greg (Van Avermaet) who was just behind so I said, slow down, but instead of going easy he kind of stopped pedalling and then they hit each other in the middle and that’s how Quinziato and Klaas went down“, said Sciandri. Despite some bruises on the back, Quinziato isn’t suffering from serious injury and Lodewyck made an X-Ray of the ribs that revealed he had nothing broken.

Five of the BMC Racing Team riders crossed the line after 1:10 minute behind the winning team Orica-GreenEdge. While Adam Blythe was dropped before the crash, Burghardt was also losing time on his teammate at that moment, explains Sciandri.

“He was not going well so we had to wait for him many times. Today, we were thinking to win, and finally it’s a disaster, but hopefully Klaas is ok. He finished the race, which is already good”, said Sciandri. Lodewyck won’t continue the race, as he crossed the line out of time, with 8:40 minutes delay on the winners.

 Jens Keukeleire in the leader’s jersey. Photo: Thomas Bracht

Sky 12th

It wasn’t a great day for Team Sky who finished 12th. The team crossed the line with five riders in Sittard – Davide Appollonio, Luke Rowe, Christian Knees, Salvatore Puccio and British national champion Alex Dowsett. Windy conditions made life tough for the teams as the race headed into a second day and a team time trial which always looked likely to shake up the standings. Team Sky began the day on the back foot with just seven riders on the start line and Luke Rowe also suffering following a crash heading into the sprint on Monday.

After the stage Sports Director Steven de Jongh gave us the low-down on the always testing team time trial. He said: “It was windy out there but with the problems we had yesterday the team rode really well. We did not lose that much time on the GC to teams like Garmin who have some specialists here. “We started with seven and finished with five. The course was not too technical. There were a couple of short climbs but it was a block headwind so it was tough in that sense. Luke was back out after his crash yesterday. His hand is still sore which is not ideal but hopefully it will improve again tomorrow.”

1 Orica – GreenEDGE 00:21:09
2 Omega Pharma – Quickstep 00:01
3 Katusha Team 00:02
4 Rabobank Cycling Team 00:05
5 Liquigas – Cannondale 00:17
6 RadioShack – Nissan 00:19
7 Movistar Team @ same time
8 Garmin – Sharp 00:27
9 Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank 00:28
10 Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team 00:32
11 Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat 00:33
12 Sky Procycling 00:37
13 Argos-Shimano @ same time
14 Lampre – ISD 00:45
15 Ag2R – La Mondiale 00:46
16 Topsport Vlaanderen – Mercator 00:47
17 Lotto – Belisol Team 00:49
18 Astana Pro Team 00:56
19 Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s 01:07
20 Euskaltel – Euskadi 01:10
21 BMC Racing Team 01:11




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