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"With what we have in tomorrow’s stage, and after tomorrow, it is still possible for a high GC. The good thing today is that Fabio stayed there because it was very tricky with the rain.”

Photo: Sirotti




14.08.2015 @ 18:50 Posted by Andy Pedersen

A late rainstorm favored a two-man breakaway in the Eneco Tour stage five as they held off a small five-man chase group and a decimated peloton to duel for the win. Johan Le Bon (FDJ) distanced Dylan Van Baarle (Cannondale-Garmin) in the final two kilometers to claim a well-earned victory after the pair led for the most of the 179.6-kilometers.


Fabio Felline arrived with the severely reduced peloton 27 seconds later to maintain his 11th place in the overall classification (+36").


Jasper Stuyven was also represented in the front bunch after the pounding rain shattered the peloton with some 40-kilometers remaining.  Stuyven was a workhorse for Felline, keeping him safely in the front, then jumped with a few key moves in the final kilometers.


“Just at the end with the thunderstorm the rain was coming down something incredible!” explained director Dirk Demol.“The plan was to keep Fabio safe in the front group with the favorites, and we had hoped to have more riders up there, but the group was down to just 40 riders with all the rain. Jasper tried to get in a few breakaways when there were no dangerous guys for the GC. He did a good job.”


When Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) launched a powerful uphill attack eight kilometers from the end only four others could follow the move.


An attentive Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) latched onto Greipel’s attack - a late bid to catch back Le Bon and Van Baarle that fell nine seconds short – and it was enough for Kelderman to shoulder the white leader’s jersey from teammate Jos van Emden as the top rungs of the leaderboard went through a few changes.


“At the end there was a small gap to five riders with Kelderman and Tim Wellens there, two riders for the GC,” continued Demol,“but okay, with what we have in tomorrow’s stage, and after tomorrow, it is still possible for a high GC. The good thing today is that Fabio stayed there because it was very tricky with the rain.”


Despite a few of the favorites taking a step back in the overall classification Friday, tomorrow’s stage six, the hardest and longest of the weeklong tour, will definitely shake things up further.


Successfully getting through the rainy and highly threatening ending to stage five, Felline still sits within striking distance of a top GC result, and tomorrow’s queen stage will more than likely be the biggest challenge in the fight for the final podium.


“It was expected to be quite a straightforward stage, but with the change with the weather riders were everywhere. The bad thing is Eugenio [Alafaci] crashed pretty heavily; it’s exactly the same stage on the same circuit that he crashed last year where he broke his collarbone. Nothing is broken, but he is out of the tour,” Demol said.


“We hoped that Danny [van Poppel] and Giacomo [Nizzolo] could survive today, but they didn’t. The main thing is Fabio finished safely with the front group and tomorrow there will be some fireworks in the finale, it will be a new race, and we will have to see.”



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