Eneco Tour 1: Postcards From Friesland

Embedded image permalinkA gray large straight road, two paches of large green beside. Small coloured points fixed on my crean. Damn! it doesn't work. Postcards from the Eneco. A break-away, a chase, a peloton launched at the sprint, a sprint. Impressionist paints. 
Now I know there was a six-man group - Nathan Haas (Cannondale-Garmin), Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Laurens de Vreese (Astana), Jesper Asselman (Team Roompot), Nico Denz (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and David Boucher (FDJ) ahead the peloton. They crossed the country on that large flat road from Bolsward to Bolsward.
They got eventually caught - they knew that was going to happen - and sprinters trains prepared a long battled sprint. Viviani won, Danny van Poppel was a close 2nd and Jempy Drucker 3rd. By the way: how good is Jempy by BMC! I'm amazed... a wasted talent so far...
God I was waiting this race! I was missing a serious racing, the big game again. Moreover because it's pourring rain here, the country home sank in the mist and I'm finding again the cosiness of my love. Lets have a good cycling streaming: it's so romantic!

Elia Viviani:
"When he started to sprint he went very fast, and I thought, 'now I wait a second and then I go'. I think I did 200 metres of a sprint. I had good legs in the final today and after a long gap without races following the Giro this is the best way to start a new second part of the season. In the last 3km we had Ian Stannard, Chris Sutton and Andy Fenn. When they had finished their work Andy kept me at the left side. The plan is in the last kilometre to take the best wheel we can. We know Lotto have a big team for the lead-out train, the same for Lampre. So we knew one of these would be a good train and it turned out to be Lotto today."

Embedded image permalinkDanny van Poppel:
“I was on Viviani’s wheel and he went over Greipel. I felt a lot of power in my legs and I wanted to go over Viviani, but it was so fast – at the end I had 74km/h maximum speed – and I was spinning out my biggest gear [54x11 -ed]. My gear was a little bit too small to go over him, but it was still really close. Viviani is also a track rider so he is good in the fast sprints and normally I am better in the uphill sprints or ones of real power. It’s hard to finish second and so close to winning - I try not to think about that too much; there will be more chances. In this way we had two cards to play and I ended up taking the right wheel. I also got a lot of luck and Giacomo didn’t today. For the opening flat stage it was decided that Giacomo Nizzolo would be designated finisher, however, the typical chaos of racing small Dutch roads peppered with ‘road furniture’ in the local laps changed the tactics, and the team wisely opted to play two sprinter cards instead of one. From the start we made the decision that we would make the sprint for Giacomo but when we saw that the local laps were really dangerous it was decided that everyone would help Giacomo and I would make my own way. In this way, we had two cards to play. I ended up taking the right wheel; I also got a lot of luck and Giacomo didn’t today. Also, in sprinting it is not always who is the fastest, but you also need to be gutsy.”

Jempy Drucker:
"Van Poppel's wheel was a good one and I tried to move up in the last 50 meters, but it was too short. I had good speed and was feeling strong enough to come across. It was a pity that the finish line came too fast."


1 Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky
2 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
3 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team
4 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
5 Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
6 Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro Team
7 Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica GreenEdge
8 Moreno Hofland (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
9 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team
10 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Roompot
1 Elia VIVIANI Italy SKY 26 4:06:08
2 Danny VAN POPPEL Netherlands TFR 22 +4
3 Jesper ASSELMAN Netherlands ROP 25 +4
4 Laurens DE VREESE Belgium AST 27 +5
5 Nico DENZ Germany ALM 21 +5
6 Jean-Pierre DRUCKER Luxembourg BMC 29 +6
7 Nathan HAAS Australia TCG 26 +8
8 André GREIPEL Germany LTS 33 +10
9 Jonas VANGENECHTEN Belgium IAM 29 +10
10 Andrea GUARDINI Italy AST 26 +10

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