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“After the first couple of laps, I knew the hill was not hard enough to break up the bunch for the final, especially with other teams trying to control the race for the sprint. So, I took my chance to win the race in a breakaway."

Photo: Belkin Pro Cycling Team






09.09.2014 @ 01:09 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

With two stage wins in a row, Belkin had a veru successful Tour of Alberta but in the final stage they came away empty-handed. Steven Kruijswijk launched a strong solo attack on the hilly circuit but was unable to prevent a sprint finish.


The Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM wrapped up a successful 2014 Tour of Alberta, Canada, on Sunday, with Belgian Sep Vanmarcke and Dutchman Nick van der Lijke placing fourth and sixth place the race’s final, 121-kilometer stage through the streets of Edmonton.

Belkin’s Steven Kruijswijk, who began the day 17th overall, at :47, made a valiant solo effort to win the stage — and perhaps even take the general classification — attacking a 12-man breakaway on the ninth of 11 laps of the stage’s 11km circuit and gaining a one-time advantage of nearly a minute, briefly becoming the race’s “leader on the road.”

“I wanted to go for the stage win,” said Kruijswijk, winner of the Arctic Race of Norway. “After the first couple of laps, I knew the hill was not hard enough to break up the bunch for the final, especially with other teams trying to control the race for the sprint. So, I took my chance to win the race in a breakaway. There was no great cooperation, so I decided to go for it.”

The 27-year-old from Nuenen was foiled by a frantic peloton with one lap remaining, however, and had settled for distinction as the stage’s most aggressive rider.

“I was hoping for more rain so the bunch would split up behind me and I could get some extra time, but that did not happen,” Kruijswijk said.

The tough circuit race, held under rainy and cold conditions, was won in a bunch sprint by Orica-GreenEdge’s Daryl Impey of South Africa. By winning the stage and taking a 10-second time bonus, Impey also took the overall classification by 1 second ahead Tom Dumoulin of Giant-Shimano.

“Today was a hard day, a tough circuit; everybody was going full gas. Our guys did a great job,” said Belkin Sports Director Michiel Elijzen. “Sep and Nick, as well as Jonathan Hivert, were in the first group and went for the sprint, but were not able to pull it off.”

In the end, the Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM came away with its share of the spoils. Dutch sprinter Theo Bos won a stage, was a close second in another and finished fourth in the points classification; Vanmarcke won a stage, as well, and led the team in the general classification with 9th place overall, at :31; and Team Belkin finished third in the team classification.

“We’re happy with the whole tour. Everybody showed themselves really well and, yeah, we had a fun and successful week,” said Elijzen, adding the team looks forward to more racing in North America at next week’s Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal — both World Tour races — on Friday and Sunday, respectively.



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