Safety first as heavy rain affects stage two time trial at the BinckBank Tour

Tue 8 Aug 2017

A rain affected second stage at the BinckBank Tour saw Vuelta a Espana stage winner Jens Keukeleire produce a strong, yet controlled time trial performance for ORICA-SCOTT, keeping the team’s general classification hopes alive.

Despite a dry start to today’s stage two individual time trial heavy rain soon began to fall causing a change in objectives for many riders as they sought to limit the damage both on the GC and also out on the road.

For the first few riders down the ramp the dry conditions proved to be a significant advantage, as Stefan Kung (BMC) became the early occupant of the hot seat and went on to take the stage win and the overall race lead.

Track specialist Alexander Edmondson produced the team’s best time with eleven minutes 24seconds to take 20th on the stage, but as sport director Laurenzo Lapage explained, once the rain started it became more about minimising the risk.

“We had wanted to give it a good effort today,” said Lapage. “With Alex and Michael Hepburn we have two really strong time triallists and originally we had targeted this stage. However once the roads became wet they became dangerous and we instructed everyone to go hard on the straights, but take no risk in the corners.”

“It’s good that we came through ok, Simon Gerrans had a small crash, but suffered no injury and we kept ourselves in contact within the general classification. Our objectives have not changed, there will be opportunities in the sprints over the next few days and we will be gunning for stage results.

“It is important that we stay focused and look to gain time where we can, usually this race is decided over the last two days and there is plenty of hard racing ahead and chances to get in the breakaway and go on the offensive.”

How it happened:

A fast and flat nine kilometre course in Voorburg provided the setting for today’s stage two individual time trial with BMC’s Stefan Kung setting the best early time of ten minutes and 58seconds.

Heavy rain started to fall about an hour into proceedings, changing the objective for many riders from a full-blown effort to making it round the course safely and without hitting the deck.

ORICA-SCOTT played it safe and looked to gain time on the straights, Gerrans suffered a small crash, but remounted without issue before Edmondson completed his effort and posted the team’s best time of eleven minutes 24seconds.

Keukeleire rode strongly, but intelligently keeping his hopes of contending for a strong general classification place alive with a time of eleven minutes 30seconds followed by teammate Magnus Cort who also stayed upright and finished 16seconds slower.

One by one the riders rolled gingerly down the ramp with nobody coming close to Kung’s time, race leader Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) was the last rider to start and finshed some 20seconds down on stage winner Kung.

BinckBank Tour stage 2 (ITT) results:

1. Stefan Kung (BMC) 00:10:58

2. Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe) 00:00:04

3. Tom Dumoulin (Team-Sunweb) 00:00:05

20. Alexander Edmondson (ORICA-SCOTT) 00:00:26

General classification after stage 2:

1. Stefan Kung (BMC) 04:01:07

2. Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe) 00:00:04

3. Tom Dumoulin (Team-Sunweb) 00:00:05

20. Alexander Edmondson (ORICA-SCOTT) 00:00:26

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