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"Of course, I said that I would have been satisfied with a second place behind Cavendish, but eventually he started the sprint for Meersman and I was in his wheel. I'm glad I could come back and take the win."

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13.08.2014 @ 23:19 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Raymond Kreder got a rare chance to sprint for in today's sprint stage of the Tour de l'Ain and paid back the confidence by taking the win. With Mark Cavendish making his comeback in the race, the Dutchman would have been satisfied with second and so exceeded his own expectations.

 

n his first professional seasons, Raymond Kreder has mostly been riding in service of Tyler Farrar but occasionally he has been given his own chance. Today was such a rare occurrence as he was selected as the team’s sprinter for the first stage of the Tour de l’Ain.

 

Like he did when he won the Velothon Berlin earlier his year, Kreder paid back the confidence by taking the win as he held off stagiaire Marc Sarreau in the bunch sprint at the end of a slow, uneventful stage. Race leader Gianni Meersman finished third and so defended his overall lead.

 

Much was expected from Mark Cavendish in his first sprint stage since his comeback. However, the Brit didn’t feel ready to sprint and decided to work for his teammate Meersman and this opened the door for Kreder who had initially expected to be fighting for second behind the Brit.

 

"This victory is unexpected because yesterday I was not feeling well during the prologue," Kreder told Directvelo. "Today I felt better and better as the stage went on and the team did everything to put me in a good position. It's nice to win for the team. 

 

"At the start of the stage, two guys went away and the peloton chased. It was perfect. For most of the day, we had a headwind so for those in the break who rode in the wind, it was hard. But beling well-protected in the peloton, it was pretty easy. 

 

"In the finale, we rolled harder because everyone wanted to be in the front. I found myself in the front at the right time. Of course, I said that I would have been satisfied with a second place behind Cavendish, but eventually he started the sprint for Meersman and I was in his wheel. I'm glad I could come back and take the win. 

 

"Tomorrow is the last stage where I can show myself. The team will still ride for me because today I felt better and my confidence is raised with this victory. We will try to win again. After that, it will be much harder. I hope I can do my job for my teammates."
 

One of the riders that supported Kreder was Tom-Jelte Slagter who hopes to get his chance in the harder stages later in the week.

 

"We did a good job," he said. "We had the strength to lead the peloton in the final 10km. And he could finish the job which is classy. This is a great victory. I'm really happy. 

 

"Today, we knew there was a possibility and we took it. Tomorrow we will try again and then there will be two hard stages where I hope to do well. Normally, I should be fine. It's my first stage race since the Tour de France . I'm curious to see where I stand. I want to try to do as well as last year. We also have Dan Martin in the team. It would be great to finish on the podium, but now I take it day by day. We'll see how it goes."

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