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“I was able to follow the best today and wasn’t dropped at any moment. I couldn’t really sprint because I moved to the front too early. That cost me too much energy. For a better result, I should have waited."

BERT JAN LINDEMAN

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GEORGE BENNETT

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TEAM VISMA | LEASE A BIKE

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TOUR DOWN UNDER

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21.01.2015 @ 14:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

George Bennett and Bert-Jan Lindeman finished at the head of affairs in Wednesday’s second stage of the Tour Down Under. On the uphill kick to Stirling, Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s GC riders closed on the same time as stage winner Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar).
 
Bennett placed 25th after 150 kilometres. Lindeman ended 41st. In the overall, the duo holds similar positions: New Zealand’s Bennett 23rd, his Dutch team-mate 42nd. They trail by 13 seconds to leader Jack Bobridge (Budget Forklifts) due to bonus seconds.
 
“I’m satisfied,” Lindeman said. “I was able to follow the best today and wasn’t dropped at any moment. I couldn’t really sprint because I moved to the front too early. That cost me too much energy. For a better result, I should have waited, but that’s easy to say afterwards. My fitness is good.”
 
The second stage of the Tour Down Under exploded right after the start. Several riders immediately attacked. Finally, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Campbell Flakemore (BMC) were able to gain an advantage. Their adventure ended, however, ahead of the 20-kilometre closing circuit and a group sprint among 50 riders.
 
“It was a tough stage,” Lindeman said. “The first 15 kilometres were uphill and the battle for the break made it hard. The strong breakaway meant the pace stayed high throughout the day. We finished in a group of fifty riders, which meant that no less than eighty men were dropped.”
 
A number of LottoNL-Jumbo’s riders in black and yellow suffered.  “A lot of guys had a hard time,” Sports Director Frans Maassen said. “The wind was blowing hard and it was pretty stuffy.
 
“The race unfolded as expected. George and Bert-Jan did well. This kind of racing is right up their alley.
 
“Tomorrow will be a challenge again. The men face a tough ‘mur’ in the final. The team will try to drop off our leaders as well as possible at the foot of the climb. Then it’s up to them to ride as fast as possible to the line.”
 
An ambitious Lindeman expects to see the first real time differences made on Thursday’s stage three.
 
"Tomorrow, it will be an explosive stage and an honest one, as well,” continued Lindeman.
 
“Until this moment, I haven’t lost any time in the race. Stage three is a new day with new chances. If I can hang on again and take some seconds later in the week with an escape, I can move up in the overall. There are still plenty of opportunities.”

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