ORICA-GreenEDGE Ends Eneco Tour with Three in Overall Top TenTue 14 Aug 2012
When the Eneco Tour came to a close in Geraardsbergen, ORICA-GreenEDGE had three riders in the top ten overall. Luke Durbridge slotted into fifth place. Svein Tuft, who started the final stage in the race leader’s jersey, hung on for seventh place. Sebastian Langeveld finished two places back in ninth.
Tuft initially looked as if he had clinched the final spot on the overall podium, 40 seconds down on overall winner Lars Boom (Rabobank). After the race had finished, the team learned commissaries had issued the Canadian a 20 second time penalty for taking bottles inside the final 20 kilometers. The lost seconds dropped him down to seventh place.
“We have to accept the time sanction opposed by the commissaries,” said Sports Director Daniele Nardello. “It’s unfortunate, but we still managed to keep a select three guys in the top ten.”
Three times up the Muur de Geraardsbergen, dropped from Tour of Flanders earlier this year, proved decisive on the heels of other cobbled climbs littered throughout stage seven.
“Today’s stage included a very difficult finale,” Nardello noted. “The riders worked well to keep themselves in the front group and give as much support to Svein as possible. We expected a lot of attacking during the last half of the race, and when this happened, Svein was not able to stay in the front group. It may have been a little too optimistic on our side to think that he could.”
Alessandro Ballan (BMC) won the stage from Boom in a two-up sprint. The duo escaped from a nine rider breakaway that formed over the Muur.
It has been a hugely successful race for the Australian outfit with two stage wins, three days in the leader’s jersey split between two riders and three riders in the general classification top ten.
“We’ve done well at the Eneco Tour, and I’m proud of the efforts of both riders and staff,” said General Manager Shayne Bannan. “We have a lot to look forward to as we approach the last part of the season.”
Due to tragic events in his immediate family, Sports Director Laurenzo Lapage was unable to be with the team on the final day of the race. The entire ORICA-GreenEDGE team sends it thoughts and prayers to the Lapage family.