Eneco Tour: Zdeněk Štybar takes stage three in a late breakaway sprint
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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Eneco Tour: Zdeněk Štybar takes stage three in a late breakaway sprint

by Ben Atkins at 11:07 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Eneco Tour
 
Former cyclocross World champion fastest of a group of four that escapes with a kilometre to go

zdenek stybarZdeněk Štybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) took his first solo victory of the 2013 season in the third stage of the Eneco Tour, between Oosterhout and Brouwersdam, as the fastest of a late late breakaway of four. The former cyclocross World champion was part of a small group that detached itself from the front of the peloton with just over a kilometre to go, then easily managed to outsprint Maximiliano Richeze (Lampre-Merida) as the two of them passed the early move from reigning race champion - and fellow former cyclocross World champion - Lars Boom (Belkin).

Sprinting in the peloton just two seconds behind the winner, race leader Arnaud Démare (FDJ.fr) just managed to hold on to his white and red jersey by a single second over Boom.

"I am really happy because it's the first victory since the Tour de Pologne last year," said Štybar. "After the surgery I had on my knee I couldn't train as I normally would. I really hated the period after the surgery because I couldn't really follow a specific schedule. It wasn't easy, but in the last weeks I was able to train really well in the Czech Republic, and after that good period at altitude camp. I felt I was improving quickly at that point. I knew I was going better today but still, I have never sprinted in my life. Even in training I didn't practice. The sprint is not my strongest point but probably after today I will change my mind because I was able to win.

“Maybe it is because I am sleeping in the same room as Petacchi. Maybe his sprint power rubbed off on me," the Czech laughed.

"About the sprint, I knew it was going to be tough," Štybar continued. "Because the lap before, I asked Alessandro to ride for me to take the bonification. Alessandro worked for me and making that sprint I understood it was really tough as there was a headwind from the left. It was a really difficult final.

“When I did the sprint in the final I waited, waited, and waited for the right moment,” he added. “I let the other guys pass, jumped on the wheel of Richeze and then I came out from his wheel and I did my sprint in the very last moment to be powerful enough to pass him.

“It's really nice to have a win like this,” Štybar said. “It's especially nice because tomorrow we arrive in Essen where I live with my girlfriend when I am in Belgium. It's really nice to arrive there with the win. We will see now, as starting on Friday we will start the weekend for the GC. I am focused on the TT. I know I will lose something but I want to try to go full gas and try to go into the final two stages in a good GC position. In Tour de Pologne I was pretty OK on the climbs. I will try to do my best on Saturday, and Sunday, the finish is more for my skills."

The first attack in the 187.3km stage, on the flat, exposed coast of the south eastern Netherlands, came from combativity classification leader Laurens De Vreese (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Ben Verraes (Accent.jobs-Wanty). Both had been in the break on day one, with De Vreese also on the attack on day two, but the move was quickly shut down.

After eight kilometres, however, Alex Rasmussen (Garmin-Sharp), Eloy Teruel (Movistar), Axel Domont (AG2R La Mondiale) and Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) got away, and were able to build a lead of 6’30” by the 39km point.

Gradually the quartet was closed down by the peloton on the exposed roads until, with 60km to go, it was just 18 seconds ahead. Three of the breakaway riders sat up and allowed themselves to be caught, but Wallays jumped away again and was joined by teammate De Vreese, who was hunting more points towards his black jersey.

With 41km to go the two Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise riders were 1’10” clear but, on the build up to the third Eneco sprint the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team began to string out the peloton and close them down.

De Vreese took the sprint, with 31km to go, just ahead of Wallays, while the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team appeared to be cruising towards the final bonus second for third place. Greipel managed to take it, however, as the team apparently didn’t realise that the sprint was not actually on the finish line, but ten metres past. Job done De Vreese sat up, but Wallays continued. The Belgian was allowed to dangle 20 seconds in front of the peloton until finally being swept up by FDJ.fr with 16km to go at the beginning of the final lap.

Most of the other teams began jostling for position at the head of the peloton inside the final ten kilometres, but nobody wanted to set too much of a pace at this point. With six kilometres to go Lotto-Belisol took over, however, and refused to yield to the other teams that tried to come past.

Lampre-Merida managed to come through under the two kilometre banner, however, and the blue-fuchsia riders began to work with Lotto-Belisol. With just over a kilometre to go Greipel let a gap open in front of him, letting teammate Roelandts ride clear with Richeze and Štybar on his wheel.

Seeing the danger Boom jumped across the the trio as it passed under the flamme rouge, as Team Sky tried unsuccessfully to close the gap behind. Boom jumped early as Roelandts ran out of steam, but Richeze came past him in the final 200 metres with Štybar on his wheel. The Czech then went himself and crossed the line almost a length ahead of the Argentinean to take his first solo victory on the road in 2013.

Result stage 3
1. Zdeněk Štybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
2. Ariel Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Lampre-Merida
3. Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling
4. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Leopard @ 2s
5. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol
6. Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
7. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Accent.jobs-Wanty
8. Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha Team
9. Davide Appollonio (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
10. José Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team

Standings after stage 3
1. Arnaud Démare (Fra) FDJ.fr
2. Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling @ 1s
3. Zdeněk Štybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick Step @ 3s
4. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling
5. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team @ 4s
6. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp @ 6s
7. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol @ 8s
8. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team
9. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step @ 10s
10. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent.jobs-Wanty

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