Eneco Tour: Svein Tuft reigns in the rain to spoil the locals’ day in Netherlands prologue
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Eneco Tour: Svein Tuft reigns in the rain to spoil the locals’ day in Netherlands prologue

by Ben Atkins at 11:06 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Eneco Tour
Canadian champion denies the Dutch over a wet 5km

svein tuftSvein Tuft (Garmin-Transitions) won the rain-affected prologue of the Eneco Tour around the streets of Steenwijk, Netherlands. A late starter, the Canadian champion blitzed around the 5km course to finish 6 seconds faster than the time set by former World cyclocross champion Lars Boom (Rabobank) almost 2 hours earler. Second last to start, Dutch time trial champion Jos Van Emden (Rabobank) managed to go slightly faster than teammate Boom, but still finished 5 seconds slower than Tuft.

Local rider Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) was the first rider to roll down the ramp and take on the course, which featured some cobbled areas and the usual Dutch traffic islands. He posted a time of 6’37” to set the early standard, but was unlikely to be anywhere near the top once the specialists had taken their turns.

Westra’s time was good enough to last for well over half an hour though; he sat in the hot seat until Alex Rasmussen (Saxo Bank), twice a silver medallist in the Danish time trial championships, went 10 seconds faster with 6’27”. The Dane was to hold the lead for less than 3 minutes though, as Boom, a former Dutch national and World under-23 time trial champion, went 3 seconds faster to set a time of 6’24” that looked tough to beat.

With the heavy rain continuing to fall and the wind beginning to strengthen, several riders looked as though they were going to come close to Boom’s time but none were able to beat it.

Sébastien Rosseler (RadioShack) came within 5 seconds of Boom to go into provisional third place; it was Boom’s Rabobank teammate Martin Tjallingii that almost toppled the former cyclocrosser though, finishing just 11 hundredths of a second slower.

It was beginning to look as though Boom really was going to shake the room, having sat in the lead for almost 2 hours. Tuft though, in the last group of riders to set off, flew around the course to finish in 6’18”, a full 6 seconds faster.

Dutch time trial champion Jos Van Emden (Rabobank), the penultimate rider to start, managed to go faster than Boom and Tjallingii, his two teammates, putting three Rabobank riders in the top four, but the all important top spot still belonged to Tuft.

Last year’s race winner Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky), in the red, white and blue Norwegian time trial champion’s jersey, managed to creep inside the top-five to make a good start to the defence of his Eneco Tour title.

Result prologue
1. Svein Tuft (Can) Garmin-Transitions
2. Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank @5s
3. Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank @ 6s
4. Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky @ 7s
6. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky
7. Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Columbia
8. Alex Rasmussen (Den) Team Saxo Bank @ 9s
9. Richie Porte (Aus) OmegaPharma-Lotto
10. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi @ 10s


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