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“I am a little disappointed because I gave everything, but I had some mishaps. For example, I lost the visor to my helmet after just about four kilometers after I hit a big bump and had a violent jolt. I never really was able to find...

Photo: Muscat Municipality/Paumer/B.Bade






13.08.2015 @ 19:14 Posted by Andy Pedersen

The time trial at the Eneco Tour gave IAM Cycling the opportunity to chalk up a very good performance at the end of a 13.9 kilometer circuit that was very technical and complicated by being exposed to a mind-blowing wind. Matthias Brändle earned himself a place in the top-5 with an encouraging show of strength after his return to racing following the Tour de France. Taking 5th place, eleven seconds behind the winner has also garnered him the same position in the overall classification. 


It was Lotto-Jumbo, in their own backyard, that came away with the big victory of a double stage win and overall leader’s jersey thank to Jos Van Emden, as well as a second place on the stage and in the GC for Wilco Kelderman. With three more stages featuring courses worthy of Amstel, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour of Flanders, anything is still possible for anyone who still has designs on the general classification, to say nothing of potential stage wins.


Before the long two hour transfer to Maastricht, Matthias Brändle analyzed his strong performance, nevertheless with a touch of regret. 


“I am a little disappointed because I gave everything, but I had some mishaps. For example, I lost the visor to my helmet after just about four kilometers after I hit a big bump and had a violent jolt. I never really was able to find a good rhythm, and then fighting the strong headwind on the way back did not help matters, obviously. Frankly, I was looking for the win, and I would have hoped on finishing higher up.


"I am still ready to fight in the upcoming stages, even if that will be far from simple. But with Heinrich Haussler, Aleksejs Saramotins as well as Dries Devenyns and David Tanner, we certainly have a team that can be competitive. And we are not in the habit of giving up our chips too easily.”


Rik Verbrugghe, directeur sportif along with Thierry Marichal, was generally satisfied with how his team performed. 


“We had a good day. Matthias Brändle was a little disappointed because he had counted on performing really well. But his 5th place is encouraging, especially if you take into account that Monday was his first day of racing since having had a rest to recover after the Tour de France.


"Reto Hollenstein also put in an excellent ride with his 17th place, and then we had Dries Devenyns in 23rd. Aleksejs Saramotins had put in a great ride, but collapsed a little in the final kilometers. Nevertheless, we still succeeded in moving into the 3rd place on the team standings behind Jumbo-Lotto and BMC.


"Now we are ready to go with the attacks that will define the next three stages. With the Ardennes and Flanders on the menu, there will be plenty to do, so we must be attentive.”



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