Eneco Tour: Stage to Ballan, Boom wins the Overall

BMC rider Alessandro Ballan won the stage on the Muur van Geraardsbergen while Rabobank’s Lars Boom, Tour of Britain winner in 2011, won the overall

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

BMC’s Alessandro Ballan wins final stage of Eneco Tour with a late attack

After a decisive attack on the last climb of Muur van Geraardsbergen, with 5 km to go, Alessandro Ballan scored his second road victory for 2012. “I attacked in the same place as when I won Tour of Flanders. I went alone and then when I saw Lars Boom was coming, I knew we could go together until the finish and I could compete for the victory, excately as I did with Leif Hoste in 2007,” he said.

Ballan won the stage ahead of Lars Boom (Rabobank) who took the race overall victory. The former winner of the Tour of Flanders explained it was special for him to experience another victory in Muur van Geraardsbergen “It’s a special victory for me. There is something really symbolic about that place and it’s also here that I really started to become popular”, said Ballan.

The former World champion on the road in 2008 said that this victory was also special for the team. “After the team time trial where we had bad luck with the crash, we really wanted to have a victory here because he knew that we were in strong condition. So, I was clearly targeting the win today and now I dedicate that victory to my team,” Ballan said.

The BMC Racing Team rode in offensively all day long, starting with Marcus Burghardt who was part of the nine-men breakaway of the day. “All the team made a super job around me, with Burghardt in the break, then Quinziato who launched some attacks and Van Varemaet who here as the last man, it was really perfect”, said Ballan.

Tour of Britain Winner adds World Tour Race to Palmeres
Rabobank team captain Lars Boom added his name to the Eneco Tour honours list after a tough seventh stage. During the last passage of the Muur, the Rabo rider came to the front and was quick to react when Ballan attacked. Together they rode the last five kilometres to the finish on the Muur, where the stage win was for Ballan, but the final victory for Lars Boom.

Lars Boom complimented his team mates right after the finish. “The team was great. They did an excellent job today. First the sprinters kept control, then it was Rick Flens’ turn and in the end I had Bram Tankink and Dennis van Winden at my side. In the final it was up to me. I was able to break away from the others to chase Ballan and he waited for a bit on top. I wasn’t really bothered about the stage win after that. If I can get the GC, I find it perfectly normal that Ballan gets the stage.”

Lars Boom most certainly had ambitions for this tour, but the final victory was not directly the goal. “The Eneco Tour is an important race for us, so of course I wanted to be good here. And if you can grab the final victory, you don’t let it go to waste. But on the first day, I did not feel very good. I called it an Olympic dip myself. You just get back from the Games, spend a little while at home and then have to move on right away. I had to get back into it. The team time trial went excellent however and then I was right back. I could keep that form for the rest of the week.”

Quickstep lose out in finale on the Muur
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step made it into a select group on the final race up the Muur to the finish, but unfortunately missed the breakaway that decided the overall. The team however are still pleased after finishing with three riders in the top 10 of the GC. Chavanel finished 2nd overall (+26″), and Terpstra finished 3rd (+49″) after taking 10th for the stage. Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team also won the team classification.

Young rider Michal Kwiatkowski finished 8th (+1’05”). The result saw Omega Pharma – Quick-Step move up to third in the UCI WorldTour rankings with this performance, passing Katusha.

Chavanel: “I’m happy about the final result. Today I was suffering a lot due to the heat. I couldn’t push as I wanted to on the pedals. Fortunately I knew the parcours. The experience in this kind of race is important. But I’m happy today. I entered in the selection for the race at the very last moment and I got 2nd place overall — not bad. Two years ago I was also 2nd here. It is definitely a race that suits me.”

Terpstra: “I didn’t expect this result. I think it’s my best result in a general classification of a WorldTour race and I’m happy about it. Today the race was really fast and it was hot, but the team worked really well together. We were always united.”

“In the final me and Tom, we pushed a lot to keep Chavanel in the first position and try to close the gap on Boom. But Lars today was really strong and he deserves this victory. Concerning me, I’m sure this result will give even extra motivation for La Vuelta, which is my next race.”

Boonen: “Today I had a flat tyre at a bad moment, just at the top of the Tenbosse. I spent a lot of energy to come back and to reach the head of the peloton. I made it just before the Muur, so I really couldn’t recover. It’s a pity because I was planning to do something, just to shake up the group and see what would happen.”

“In the last kilometers I worked for Sylvain and I’m happy that he and Niki took the podium. The team was great this week. This result repaid our efforts.”

Final Overall
1 Lars Boom RABOBANK CYCLING TEAM 24:51:13
2 Sylvain Chavanel OMEGA PHARMA-QUICKSTEP 0:00:26
3 Niki Terpstra OMEGA PHARMA-QUICKSTEP 0:00:49
4 Alberto Contador Velasco TEAM SAXO BANK 0:00:55
5 Luke Durbridge ORICA-GREENEDGE
6 Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas MOVISTAR TEAM 0:00:58
7 Svein Tuft ORICA-GREENEDGE 0:01:00
8 Michal Kwiatkowski OMEGA PHARMA-QUICKSTEP 0:01:05
9 Sebastian Langeveld ORICA-GREENEDGE 0:01:07
10 Jan Bakelants RADIOSHACK-NISSAN 0:01:13

16 Taylor Phinney BMC RACING TEAM 0:01:45
17 Tom Boonen OMEGA PHARMA-QUICKSTEP 0:01:49
19 Alessandro Ballan BMC RACING TEAM 0:01:59
74 Jack Bauer GARMIN-BARRACUDA 0:09:12
82 Luke Rowe SKY PROCYCLING 0:13:07
92 Adam Blythe BMC RACING TEAM 0:18:54


RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK

Tags: , ,