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"Theo Bos jumped early and it was absolutely spot on. He didn't fight for Greipel's wheel. He stayed right behind me and I think he planned to jump early. It was incredible, he rode an intelligent sprint, he did it alone and he...

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MARK CAVENDISH

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13.06.2013 @ 19:54 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Defending champion Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) was 3rd in a sprint of a front group that formed due to crosswinds at the 175.7km Ster ZLM Toer - GP Jan van Heeswijk Stage 2 on Thursday. Theo Bos (Blanco Pro Cycling) won the stage, and Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) was 2nd.

 

The charging group behind - which was originally about 6 riders, but grew to as many as 34 after a chase group caught the leaders only to eventually drop to less than 26 in the final kilometres - caught an attacking Lars Boom (Blanco ProCycling) and Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol) with one kilometre to go. The two had attacked with less than 5km remaining.

 

OPQS had many of their riders in the front group, but so did Lotto-Belisol, Argos-Shimano, and Blanco ProCycling. All teams lost riders supporting their sprinters as the stage progressed. The stage was predicted to end in a sprint, but the winds eliminated the chances of many to contest the finale. The gap was at about 2'45" at about the 10km point.

 

"Today was difficult with lots and lots of corners and narrow roads until the finish," Cavendish said. "We've got a strong team on the flats so we thought we could maybe reduce the peloton and make it less hectic in the final. We want to do well here, but we're also here to prepare for the Tour de France as well. So, to take risks, it's easier with a smaller group. We had a strong team and we helped split it in the crosswinds. The guys rode strong all day and with the guys riding like that I really wanted to win today. I was motivated. I got a good position in the final, 1 kilometre with the wind slightly behind on Greipel's wheel I thought 'oh this is good, I got good position.' Slight downhill finish, Theo Bos jumped early and it was absolutely spot on. He didn't fight for Greipel's wheel. He stayed right behind me and I think he planned to jump early. It was incredible, he rode an intelligent sprint, he did it alone and he was just simply faster. So, there's no win today. I'm disappointed for the guys because they rode well for me all day. But, I'm happy we got third in the stage and put on a strong performance as a team. It shows we're in good condition and we can be in the final with the majority of our teammates."

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