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“It’s great that the team lets me ride for my own chances here. The course suits me well. It would be nice if I could notch a good result in the remaining part of the race," van der Lijke says

Photo: Belkin Pro Cycling Team

JONATHAN HIVERT

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NICK VAN DER LIJKE

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TEAM JUMBO-VISMA

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TOUR DE WALLONIE 

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28.07.2014 @ 19:23 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

As the terrain has become too hard for Theo Bos, Nick van der Lijke and Jonathan Hivert have taken over the leadership for Belkin at the Tour de Wallonie. The team is hopeful that their two riders will be able to fight for the overall in the final two hard stages.

 

Nick van der Lijke maintained himself well in the first part of the peloton in Tour de Wallonie stage three today, but paid for his efforts in the sprint. The Dutch felt empty and could only sprint to 12th in the 174-kilometres stage between Somme-Leuze and Neufchâteau. 

Juan José Lobato of Movistar won the stage ahead of new race leader, Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). 

 

“In the final, I was pretty exhausted,” said Van der Lijke. “I was hoping to finish higher up than yesterday, when I was ninth. It was a tough day, however, and the last kilometres were heavier than I thought.” 


“If my legs are fine, I hope to get in the mix in the sprint again tomorrow,” Van der Lijke added. “It’s great that the team lets me ride for my own chances here. The course suits me well. It would be nice if I could notch a good result in the remaining part of the race.” 
 

 

Besides Van der Lijke, Sports Director Michiel Elijzen also saw Jonathan Hivert holding up well on the Walloon roads. The Frenchman is free to ride for a good overall and finished in the first group in 39th. 


“Because of the steep climbs, the narrow roads and some rain now and then, the peloton ultimately split up. Fortunately, all the classification riders were in the first group,” said Elijzen. 

“There are quite a few riders who can handle a sprint after a hard race. Nick and Jonathan are two of them, but of course, it’s not easy. They’re where we expected them and are improving with the race.” 
 

 

 

Elijzen said that Van der Lijke and Hivert will get a new chance in tomorrow’s stage from Herve to Waremme. 

“Tomorrow’s parcours is similar to today’s, but instead of the hills coming in the middle of the stage, they will appear all day long. I expect a small peloton to sprint for the win again. Nick and Jonathan have gained an edge that could help them do something nice tomorrow.” 

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