Amgen Tour of California: Mixed emotions for Maarten Tjallingii on Solvang TT
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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Amgen Tour of California: Mixed emotions for Maarten Tjallingii on Solvang TT

by Xylon van Eyck at 10:18 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of California
 
Rabobank hoping for some luck on Mount Baldy

Maarten TjallingiMaarten Tjallingii expressed mixed feelings after finishing in 5th place on stage six of the Amgen Tour of California. The Dutchman was satisfied with his Time Trial as he crossed the line in Solvang, but was later disappointed when he discovered he was only 10 seconds off from finishing on the podium. Peter Velits (HTC-Highroad) finished just one second ahead of Tjallingii in 4th place, while Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad) was 3rd, 9 seconds faster than the Rabobank cyclist.

“I am happy but I regret it a bit,” he said on the Rabobank website. “When I got to the finish I saw I had a good time. I gave it everything I had and went full gas. Then I saw if I went only 1 second faster I would have moved up a place.  But when I look back I am very happy.”

It would not have been Tjallingii’s first podium finish this season. He’s shown some great form and finished an impressive 3rd in this year’s Paris-Roubaix. 

His last victory came in 2006 while riding for Skil-Shimano. That year he won stage seven of the Tour of Qinghai Lake and won the overall classification.

The 33 year old is an experienced rider who is enjoying his ninth season in the pro ranks and like most bike riders, knows his body well.

“I have finished high amongst some classy riders so I am very proud. I can feel that I am getting closer to that stage victory. The gap is getting smaller and the legs are getting better.”

Rabobank has had an unfortunate spell in the American race so far, riding without luck on their side. Fast finisher and under 23 world road race champion Michael Matthews crashed on stage three, and didn’t make the start line on stage four. Former three-time world champion Oscar Freire tried to change the team’s fortunes during stage five and went on the attack, but the Spaniard was the last man left on the road from the day’s escape, and ended up being was reeled in just 2,5 kilometres from the finish line.

With Tjallingii finishing in the top five on stage six, the tables might be turning now. The team will look to climber Laurens Ten Dam for Saturday’s mountain top finish on Mt Baldy. Ten Dam currently sits 9th overall in the race.

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