Eneco Tour: Stage 4 won by André Greipel

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After so many near misses and being field, the sprinter André Greipel finally got his victory in the last chance saloon on stage 4 of the Eneco Tour

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Lotto Belisol’s André Greipel has won the fourth stage of the Eneco Tour. Wearing the red Lotto points classification jersey, he outsprinted Giacomo Nizzolo and Lars Boom.

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The final 6km of the stage was disrupted by a yet another crash but Greipel’s Lotto Belisol managed to avoid it and that enabled his team to help Greipel to the victory with a perfect lead out. Lars Boom of Belkin meanwhile now leads the race overall.

Today’s 169 kilometre stage started in the rainy village of Essen, home to stage 3 winner Stybar, and immediately four riders broke away from the bunch: Ligthart, Tamouridis, Jacobs and Scheirlinckx.

The leaders got a maximum advantage of six minutes before after 100km, the peloton started chasing the escapees led by the sprinter teams. After an attack from Ligthart, Scheirlinckx was the first to be dropped from the break. At 15km from the finish, Ligthart suffered a puncture signalling the end of his escape

The Greek rider Tamouridis and Jacobs tried to last but with 10km to go, the break was over and then a crash near the front of the bunch caused chaos for the sprint trains. The pace slowed so those involved in the crash could rejoin the peloton before Lotto Belisol started a perfect lead out for André Greipel.

André Greipel said afterwards on his team’s website “After yesterday’s stage I was a bit frustrated but now I’m very happy with the victory. We’ve tried three times and now we finally did it.”

“Today we proved with the whole team that we really have a perfect lead out. My team mates prepared the sprint in every detail and it’s thanks to them I won. I felt some pressure to win today because we didn’t succeed in the previous stages. Now that I’ve won a stage in this Eneco Tour, I’m of course very happy. At the moment, I’m second in the GC, one second behind Lars Boom, but the GC is not my objective.”

“Tomorrow there’s the time trial and then there will be some hard stages this weekend which are not my cup of tea. Because of this victory, I can say the Eneco Tour was successful for me.”

Overall for Lars Boom
Former Tour of Britain winner and a handy rider in the time trial, Lars Boom, was third and the reigning Eneco champion seized the overall lead. Boom, in his hometown Vlijmen, says of the leader’s jersey “It’s fantastic to end up on the podium in your hometown,” explained Boom, who was greeted by a huge applause. “We passed my house at fifty metres and rode down the street of my in-laws; that gave me a real boost.”

His third place in a bunch sprint was a surprise. Boom added, “It might have something to do with Vlijmen. I was really motivated to win here and take the white jersey. We wanted to attack from the peloton on one of the last turns, but I was behind Jurgen Roelandts and he actually pulled so hard and long that I could just sit in his wheel and sprint normally. That was perfect.”

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s 13-kilometre time trial in Sittard-Geleen, Boom believes he is able to keep the white jersey. “It’s a fairly short and explosive stage, so that suits me. Moreover, there are some climbs in the beginning, and I like that. After the Tour, I’m very strong uphill.”

Friday is the time trial where Bradley Wiggins is one of the favourites. “Brad is up for it” says his DS at Team Sky, “to do as good of a ride as he possibly can. It’s a big day tomorrow. We also have Ian up there on the GC so he is another guy who will be going for it. Hopefully he can still be in a good position after his TT tomorrow.”

 

 

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