Maarten Tjallingii excited to ride debut Tour at home
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Saturday, July 03, 2010

Maarten Tjallingii excited to ride debut Tour at home

by Ben Atkins at 12:35 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Raboank rider is first Dutch rider to start in his first ever Tour

The first Dutchman to roll down the start ramp in the Netherlands port of Rotterdam was Rabobank rider Maarten Tjallingii. Having spent most of his earlier career at smaller teams, this was his first ever ride at the sport’s biggest event, and the fact that the race is starting in his home country only adds to the 32-year-old’s excitement.

“It was tough, brutal,” said Tjallingii to de Telegraaf of the 8.9km prologue course, “it’s a difficult course.

“I went all out at the start, but it was hard to stay upright,” he said of the wet conditions. “The shouts of the people, the adrenalin in your body, they all push you along.”

“The noise on the Erasmus Bridge was incredible,” he said. “The vuvuzelas [the notorious South African plastic trumpets that fans have been blowing at the football World Cup] are nothing in comparison.

“I enjoyed it, but I had wanted to do a good time. I’m glad it’s started.”

Tjallingii finished the 8.9km course in 10’49”, 39 seconds slower than provisional leader Tony Martin of HTC-Columbia.

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