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“With the current build-up of our season, with the focus on WorldTour races, it was not realistic to think that we could already get in the mix for the top spots today," Zeeman says

Photo: Belkin Pro Cycling Team












19.02.2014 @ 20:39 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

It wasn't to be for Belkin in today's prologue of the Vuelta a Andalucia, with the team's best rider being Lars Petter Nordhaug in 36th. With the team having a focus on the WorldTour races, however, the defeat came as little surprise for the Dutchmen.


“We were not able to compete for the win,” said a realistic sports director Merijn Zeeman after today's prologue of the Ruta del Sol. Lars Petter Nordhaug was the best Belkin Pro Cycling Team rider in the 7.3km race against the clock through Almeria, Spain, with a 36th place. 

“With the current build-up of our season, with the focus on WorldTour races, it was not realistic to think that we could already get in the mix for the top spots today.”

The Belkin riders will give everything to improve and achieve success during the next days.


“We’ll go all in. Our goal is to get better, but that goes hand in hand with our ambition to win a stage.” 


Moreno Hofland hit the tarmac during his race against the clock. The sprinter arrived at the finish with a scraped left arm, but said he is fine.


“I think I just went too fast on the first roundabout. I have some scrapes but I’m OK.” 

Hofland regretted his crash, as he had secretly hoped to surprise in the explosive prologue.


“This is a shame, because I really liked this prologue. It was explosive and had many turns. That suits me.” 

The Dutch sprinter remains optimistic. He believes in his chances in stages three and four. 

“On paper, the third stage is the easiest of the week. The fourth is a bit hilly and that’s good for me as well, as a small peloton will probably sprint for the win there.” 

Tomorrow’s stage will probably be too difficult for Hofland. Zeeman expects a chaotic start due to the 11-kilometre climb at the beginning of the stage. 

“It will be a war on the climb. After that the bunch will control it and bring it to the final climb. Normally it would be a nice stage for Jonathan Hivert, Bauke Mollema or Lars Petter Nordhaug.” 


Bauke Mollema finished 51st, Jonathan Hivert 56th and Laurens Ten Dam 71st, meaning that the team have already lost plenty of time in the GC battle.


The race continues tomorrow with a very hilly first stage that ends at the top of a category 3 climb. Starting at 14.15 CET, you can follow it on You can read our preview of the race here.



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