Eneco Tour 2: Greipel Grabs It

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Not on the roof again! I have such a bad connection here in the country! So, watching the clouds from close cruising fat and white like ghost vassels in a soppy blue sky more than the race, because that's down to small peices and inarticulated voices... I think: Jesper Asselman and Gijs Van Hoecke, c'mon! you know that today is a day for sprinters again and you have just to show the jersey, to try the thrill of the break-away... but still... there is a way to do it on style. C'mon. play do game just for the show. My streaming starts and they are there, gutsy pedaling, while the peloton parades the line for the first time, in a decent crowd. Then nothing. A fixed image featurng Team Sky lined up to pull. They pull indead and chase for the race leader Elia Viviani who rides in White and Orange siting on the wheels.
Ordinary day. Sprinters have to wait and to stay cool. I wonder if I'll get to see the sprint... Still the coulds are beautiful and I almost forget the reason I'm siting here on the roof. Fierce hits: my love is cutting the woods behind the house. Miracle! the streaming streams! silence again... A fixed image of the peloton, two riders detached, slightly ahead. 
Embedded image permalinkGod, it works! Team Lotto contends the lead with Team Sky. Can Greipel grab a gracious victory today? Last passage on the line before the finish, 30 km to go, Van Hoecke and Asselman has got a 3' advantage. Urban context: a red roof, a gray roof, a green park. People standing beside the road. Off to the country: how straight and long and flat that street is! it cuts the green patch of trees like a silver sword. It's the Golden Kilometre. From Breda to Breda it has been a long ride and Van Hoecke gets a few bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint.
17 km to go TFR gathers in front. They just missed the win yesterday and today will try to make up. Nizzolo or van Poppel? Open fields, yellow and soft green. Damn the clouds! I'm finally watching the race... Tidy lines on the combed grass. 15 km to go the break-away is caught.

Embedded image permalinkThe peloton is as large as the road, trains are organising, colours are mixing and separting, mates are looking for mates, shoulders are clashing. Lotto-Jumbo looks aggressive. Giant-Alpecin and ORICA-GE are joying the party. 7 km to go the peloton is launched and looks like a snake. There is a small crash at the back. Etixx-QS puts the head off. Fight for positions and against the road forniture. 3 km to go another small crash splits the peloton.

It's a selected group disputating the sprint but Lotto-Saudal was and remained in front with several riders and so Andre Greipel grabs a powerful victory.
Asselman is the new race leader so you see, it wasn't just for the show!

André Greipel:
“Today’s stage was quite relaxed, with only two riders in front. We had a plan. Maybe it was a bit too early to come to the front for us, but it turned out Stig Broeckx, Tim Wellens and Tiesj Benoot were strong enough to keep us in front till three kilometres to go. Then we could rely on the experience of Marcel Sieberg, Greg Henderson and Jürgen Roelandts. Afterwards Jens Debusschere  took over and I finished it off. It was a great team effort, the guys nearly carried me to the line. There was a bit of a headwind and the team really made the difference, I’m grateful to the guys. As planned Jens was my lead-out man today. Hendy is not up to his best yet after his crash in the Tour. I already worked good together with Jens during the Tour.
Yesterday we also tried to win. I didn’t need to get back in the rhythm after the rest I took after the Tour, it just didn’t work out. The competition is really strong here at the Eneco Tour. Yesterday it was hard to stay together. Tomorrow’s another opportunity with the stage to Ardooie, where I already won in 2011 and 2010. I’m second on GC, but I don’t think about taking over the leader’s jersey. I now wear the points jersey, but there are some really hard stages still coming up, we’ll see if I can hang on to that one.”


1 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
2 Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Team Katusha
3 Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
4 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team
5 Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
6 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ.fr
7 Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Team Katusha
8 Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
9 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
10 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida

1 Jasper Asselman

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