Van den Broeck benefits from solid Lotto-Belisol team time trial
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Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Van den Broeck benefits from solid Lotto-Belisol team time trial

by Kyle Moore at 4:22 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Belgian GC hope “extra relieved,” still sitting comfortably near the top

Jurgen Van den BroeckLotto-Belisol produced one of the surprising rides of Tuesday’s stage four team time trial in the Tour de France, eventually finishing fifth after taking the second best spot behind Omega Pharma-Quick Step for the first half of the stage.

The latter was beaten by less than a second for the stage win by Orica-GreenEdge, which in turn put stage three winner Simon Gerrans in the yellow jersey. Sky Procycling finished third, and Alberto Contador’s Saxo-Tinkoff squad got an outstanding fourth place finish.

Lotto-Belisol’s spot in fifth, 16 seconds slower than Orica-GreenEdge, keeps their overall contender Jurgen Van den Broeck in a good place in the general classification. Neither Orica-GreenEdge nor Omega Pharma-Quick Step possess riders who are likely to challenge for the overall, so Van den Broeck’s position in relation to Contador and Sky Procycling’s Chris Froome had the Belgian in a good mood after the stage.

Van den Broeck is currently 14th in the overall standings, two spots and nine seconds behind Contador. Froome is currently seventh, 14 seconds ahead of Van den Broeck.

“I am very satisfied with this result. We have done the maximum that was possible,” Van den Broeck stated afterward. “We were going at 60km per hour. It was a strong performance by the whole team. We have a strong sprint train, and you cannot underestimate the value of this. It comes in handy in the team time trial.

“Someone like Adam Hansen – he is a bear of a man. He’s made for this work.”

Given his close proximity to some of the other big favourites in the general classification, and given the sometimes-difficult nature of the Tour’s first week, Van den Broeck was glad to be done with Corsica and done with the team time trial in good shape.

“Only Orica-GreenEdge, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Sky and Saxo-Tinkoff topped us, so we are obviously very happy with this performance. I must admit, to be 14 seconds down to Chris Froome, I can live with that. I was glad to have left Corsica unscathed, losing no time. Now I am extra relieved that I am so close in the standings after the important first four days with such a strong team performance.”

Lotto-Belisol manager Marc Sergeant gave an idea of his squad’s strategy in the team time trial, and said that all goals were surpassed.

“We said in advance that we would factor in a loss of one second per kilometre, so we tried to limit the total time loss to 25 seconds,” Sergeant explained. “But we were behind the winner by only 17 seconds, and to beat teams like Garmin, Movistar, and Radioshack means that it was a strong collective performance. At the intermediate check we were eight seconds behind Omega Pharma-Quick Step, and at the finish we only gave 16 seconds to them, which means that we rode a highly uniform time trial. This result gives us confidence.”

With flatter stages coming up, the team’s efforts will swing back to sprinter André Greipel, as the German chases stage wins.

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