Another Late Race Attack Spoils the Eneco Tour Sprinter ShowdownThu 15 Aug 2013
Cyclocross superstar Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) powered to victory on stage three of the Eneco Tour after a late race break once again stole the show from the sprinters. Stybar broke clear with Maximiliano Richeze (Lampre Merida), Lars Boom (Belkin) and Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Belisol) inside the final two kilometres. The third rider to open his sprint, Stybar came around Richeze with his perfectly timed effort.
Eloy Teruel (Movistar), Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise), Alex Rasmussen (Garmin Sharp) and Axel Domont (Ag2r La Mondiale) formed the day’s early break. The quartet gained a maximum advantage of nearly six minutes in the first half of the stage. Their gap tumbled rapidly in the second half of the stage.
As the peloton pedalled their way toward the coast, they contended with fierce crosswinds. Stronger winds translated into an increase in both nerves and pace. The peloton overtook the break before briefly splitting into several groups. The splits were short-lived, and the bunch was back together shortly after the winds changed direction
Not content to remain in the field, Wallays went up the road for a second time during stage three. He was joined by his teammate, Laurens De Vreese, who featured in the early breakaway during the first two stages. The duo steadily built up their advantage, extending it to beyond one minute before the field chased them down.
ORICA-GreenEDGE was one of several teams that swarmed the front inside the final 30km. The Australian outfit was joined by BMC, Belkin, Argos-Shimano and FDJ.fr. Garmin-Sharp and Lotto-Belisol moved up inside the final 10km.
As the kilometres ticked down, no single team could control the bunch. The lack of organisation opened the door for Stybar and company to slip down the road.
Pieter Weening was the top finisher for ORICA-GreenEDGE, coming across the line with the bunch at 2” in 46th place. Weening is one of four ORICA-GreenEDGE riders currently 15” behind race leader Arnaud Demare (FDJ.fr) on the general classification. Weening, Sebastian Langeveld, Jens Keukeleire and Daryl Impey remain well-poised for a strong overall showing ahead of Friday’s decisive time trial.
Sport Director Laurenzo Lapage answers questions about the day below.
Q: How did the wind impact the race today?
A: Like always when we have races in this area it's nervous because all riders know they have to be attentive every moment, but there is a big chance that this time of the year the wind is not strong and the direction is completely different with the early season
Q: How did the peloton split and why did we take so much responsibility for the chase?
A: We took so much responsibility because we were with the whole team in the front. The move was planned
Q: Why did we send Svein Tuft and Luke Durbridge to the front in the last 25km?
A: We wanted the whole team actually up there but because it was so nervous the others were fighting to be there, too - so it didn't work to have everyone there at the same time.
Q: How did things go for us in the finish?
A: It was again a strange finish. No teams took the responsibility and individual moves made the decision. It's strange with so many top sprinters in the field