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"Jan, our time trial specialist, started off too quickly, then had a minor setback shortly after. He was strong during the middle part of the race, but by the end he was out of energy. Blaz Jarc’s performance, on the other h...

Photo: Roth / Team NetApp

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08.03.2014 @ 11:47 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Jan Barta was one of the favourites to win the prologue of the Three Days of West-Flanders but the Czech started out too fast and had to settle for 9th. On the other hand, the team was pleased to see sprinter Blaz Jarc perform better than expected by finishing 24th.

 

The short Belgian tour known as the “Three Days of West Flanders” began yesterday with a 7-km prologue held in Middelkerke. Gert Jõeäär (Cofidis) of Estonia rode the fastest time on the technically unchallenging route along the North Sea, followed by Johan Le Bon (FDJ) and Kristof Vandewalle (Trek Factory Racing). Jan Barta of Team NetApp – Endura reached the finish line with a 17-second deficit for a ninth place finish.

 

“We headed into the race with the goal of finishing on the podium. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out for us today. Jan, our time trial specialist, started off too quickly, then had a minor setback shortly after. He was strong during the middle part of the race, but by the end he was out of energy. Blaz Jarc’s performance, on the other hand, gives us something to build upon.

 

"Tomorrow, we will do everything we can to be active and see how the race develops. After all, we all know that things aren’t added up until the end of the race,” Christian Pömer, Sport Director of Team NetApp-Endura, said after the individual time trial. 

 

Today’s second stage covers 183 kilometers from Bruges to Harelbeke. Halfway through the race, riders will face the famous Oude Kwaremont and Tigemberg climbs from the Tour of Flanders before ending the race with a flat, 11.7-km final lap which must be completed three times. The day is therefore expected to end in a mass sprint.

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