Bos victory ensures nine Belkin stage wins from nine in Tour of Hainan, Hofland takes final overall victory
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Monday, October 28, 2013

Bos victory ensures nine Belkin stage wins from nine in Tour of Hainan, Hofland takes final overall victory

by VeloNation Press at 8:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Dutch team crushes rivals in 2.HC event

Moreno HoflandThe Belkin team has completed its dominance of the Tour of Hainan today, with Theo Bos taking the final stage and ensuring that the squad clocked up all nine stages in the 2.HC race. The superb feat was accentuated by the overall victory of first year pro Moreno Hofland, who held the lead from start to finish and also took three stages wins of his own along the way.

While Belkin was the only WorldTour team in the race and thus the strongest on paper, putting together winning rides day after day is a considerable achievement and is something which ensures the team ends the season with a real morale high.

Hofland has also had a dream end to his year and will be psyched heading into the off season. “It's a great feeling. I could only believe and really celebrate it when I crossed the line. For me, and also for the team, it has been a great tour,” he said.

“In my first professional year, I immediately bagged my first win. That makes me very happy. In the beginning of the season it was sometimes difficult for me, but after the Tour of Catalonia I became confident. I got some opportunities and I took them by taking a few podium finishes. I‘m very satisfied with my first year as pro.”

Bos’ triumph today was his sixth stage win in the race and this plus Hofland’s overall victory bring the team’s tally for the year up to 38. It’s the second most successful squad in the peloton in terms of number of wins; Omega Pharma Quick Step was best with 55.

Hofland beat runner-up Frédéric Amorison (Crelan-Euphony) by one minute and seven seconds. His Belkin team-mates Thomas Leezer and Jos Van Emden were third and fourth overall respectively, one minute fourteen and one minute seventeen seconds back.

Leezer and Van Emden both crashed towards the end but as the fall happened inside the final three kilometres, they were given the bunch time and thus held onto their high GC places.

Directeur sportif Michiel Elijzen said that the end of season race was a major focus for the team. “The boys had prepared very well for the race and trained hard for it. Every day, they were motivated and combative,” he said, describing the mood in the squad.

“We wanted to take the 30th victory [of the season], but when we noticed that there was more in it for us, we went for that. Until the very last race day of the year we stayed focused. It shows that we really are a professional team. In the past, other WorldTour teams raced here, but did not win as much as us. We were able to win here not only because we had the two fastest men, but also because we were strong as a team.”

In addition to netting all nine stages plus the overall, the squad took the team classification and Hofland also ended up with the points jersey.

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