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“I played it all or nothing. Luckily, I had a good punch which could take me all the way to the finish. It was perfect. It never would have happened without all the work the team put in all day. It’s a victory for all of us.”

Photo: Cannondale-Garming Pro Cycling

TOM-JELTE SLAGTER

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TOUR OF ALBERTA

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05.09.2015 @ 06:13 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Cannondale-Garmin’s Tom-Jelte Slagter soloed to victory in Jasper National Park on stage three at the Tour of Alberta. Slagter made his race-winning move in the final half-kilometer, capping off a brilliant display of tactics and teamwork by the eight-strong squad in Canada.

 

 

“We showed ourselves the whole stage,” said Slagter. “The team rode with inspiration from the start. To finish it off with the win is the best way for me to say thank you. I’m very happy.”

 

“For me, the way they rode as a team was nearly worth as much as the victory,” said sport director Andreas Klier. “The spirit of the riders today was incredible. Everything went to plan.”

 

With his stage win, Slagter jumped up to fourth on the general classification. Davide Formolo and Ryder Hesjedal join Slagter in the top ten overall in seventh place and tenth place respectively. In addition to the stage win and general classification gains, Slagter earned the points classification jersey and stagiaire Jasper Bovenhuis won most aggressive for his work in the early breakaway. It was a great day to be green.

 

Wintery weather including overnight snowfall and temperatures hovering just above freezing combined with a mountaintop finish posed the main obstacles of the day. Cannondale-Garmin rose to the challenges from the stage start.

 

Several climbs ahead of a summit finish made for a frantic and frenzied start in the fierce fight to escape. Eventually Bovenhuis was one of seven riders to force his way up the road and into move.

 

“All the guys on the team except for me, Ryder and Formolo tried to get into the move today,” explained Slagter. “We are proud of young Jasper Bovenhuis, our stagiaire, who went into the good break. That was a really important move for us.”

 

The breakaway gained a four-minute advantage around the mid-point of the stage and into Jasper National Park with a 2:20 advantage over the peloton. Two climbs, including the summit finish, remained.

 

By the time the race hit the penultimate climb, attacks were underway. Bovenhuis had the legs to follow. Fourteen kilometers from the finish, Bovenhuis led the race – alone.

 

The peloton reabsorbed Bovenhuis just before the top of the KOM. With ten kilometers still to race, Cannondale-Garmin took control at the front of the race. Nate Brown attacked. Two riders followed.

 

“That was a very good move at a very difficult moment,” said Slagter. “Nate showed great team spirit his attack.”

 

As they plunged down the descent, the leading trio had a ten-second advantage. A 40-rider reduced peloton closed the gap before the roads flattened. With the race back together, several teams formed trains across the road.

 

“Katusha was pulling really hard on the front,” recounted Slagter. “The guys in front of me could not follow the pace, so I went around them. I came into position three or four, I think. There was still a kilometer to go, so it was too early for me to pull my sprint. I was waiting and waiting for the right moment and it worked.”

 

Slagter reached the summit finish alone and celebrated across the line.

 

“I played it all or nothing,” said Slagter. “Luckily, I had a good punch which could take me all the way to the finish. It was perfect. It never would have happened without all the work the team put in all day. It’s a victory for all of us.”

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