8.14.2014

Eneco Tour 4: A Bloody Sprint

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It looked dangerous: the final circuit included a series of curves that could be crucial in the last lap high speed
A nervous peloton had just caught the last attacker Daniel Oss, trains were in full swing, Cancellara pulling in front to deliver Nizzolo safe and sound. 
Dangerous it was not only for the route but also for the barriers' feet. How allowed? how still in use?
It seems that van Rensburg and Guardini's handlebars touched, they went down and many other too. Stybar hit the barriers. He looked immediately bad.
Nacer Bouhanni won while Giacomo Nizzolo was 3rd, passed on the line by Luca Mezgec. They sprinted ahead the crash. I wonder if they heard it, probably no. 
Riders kept arriving, Stybar still down, doctors around him, photographers doing the dirty job, a stretcher, a dreep-feed. He's taken away in the ambulance.
Then you say... riders' safety... 

Nacer Bouhanni:
"I just found a solution at the end when the line came. I'm back here at the Eneco Tour I've been busy with the Route du Sud, but it's been a sparse season for me. It's the first sprint in the Eneco Tour that I've been able to contest and that is good for me."

Luka Mezgec 
“I had already used a lot of energy before the sprint and all I could do was follow Bouhanni at the end. There’s room for improvement but looking at where we were with 1200m to go I think that second was my maximum today so I can be happy with that. 
We are all now looking forward to riding for and protecting Tom in the climbs – he’s looking really strong and is riding well.

Giacomo Nizzolo
“The team did a great job today. The feeling the first two days was not very good and this result is good for the morale. I hope now it will be better over the next days.
The whole team worked super well all day long. There was not too much wind, which was nice, and we stayed together all day and that was really great to see. It was the most important thing for us to pull together like this after the first two days did not go well for us.
Fabian did a really strong, long pull. It’s always impressive when he’s in the front! With one kilometer to go he pulled out and Boy pulled - also a very good pull. Then at 500 meters other teams began to come and it was a little bit chaos and then I had to move up by myself. 
I think it was the best I could do today. My feeling after Wallonie was not great and I am still on the way to come back, so it was difficult to do better in the end. It was not a bad result for me, I am happy with it, and I will keep moving forward.”

OPQS about Zdenek Stybar:
"OPQS rider Zdenek Stybar suffered a crash during the sprint of Eneco Tour Stage 4 on Thursday. The crash forced Stybar to withdraw from the race. 
Stybar, who did not lose consciousness at any point, immediately underwent examinations at H.-Hartziekenhuis Roselare.
Results of the examination showed deep wounds on the upper and lower lip, as well as broken teeth. He had radiological examinations, as well as scans, which showed no fractures or cerebral lesions.
Stybar has to spend the night in the hospital under observation. Further information will be available tomorrow.
OPQS medical staff wants to thank race medical staff and the personnel of the hospital for their professionalism and care of Stybar."

Lars Boom:
“Quite easily we got through the final,” said Boom. “The boys did well by pulling at the front and reeling in the only remaining breakaway rider. That wasn’t a problem for us. In the final lap, it was still stressful because we were heading for a bunch sprint.
A crash in the hectic sprint cost the Eneco Tour its defending champion. Zdenek Stybar of Omega Pharma-QuickStep had to abandon the race after heavy spill that happened right behind Boom.
I haven’t seen a lot except for some flashes on television. It’s never pleasant to see someone crash so hard. Here in Ardooie, it’s always a big fight. Of course, the riders create dangerous situations themselves, but honestly, I have to say I don’t really like the final here.”

Daniel Oss:
"I found a small hole and I tried, but nobody followed me so I was a alone. I got a gap, but not enough to enough to make it to the finish. It was a good attack for my morale and to find out my shape."



RESULTS
STAGE
1 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ.fr 4:13:59
2 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Giant-Shimano
3 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing
4 Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
5 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol
6 Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro Team
7 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin Sharp
8 Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar
9 Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
10 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxoo
GC
1. Lars boom

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