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"For me it was a nice race because I had won already yesterday and that took the pressure off of me."

Photo: Sirotti




06.09.2015 @ 14:47 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Cannondale-Garmin’s Tom-Jelte Slagter) claimed his second straight stage win at Tour of Alberta on Saturday with another perfectly timed attack. This time the Dutchman escaped from a group of three in final 100 meters of the stage four summit finish to Marmot Basin Lodge. Soloing across the line with a four second advantage, Slagter jumps up to third on the general classification and retains the green points leader jersey.


“It was a step climb,” DS Andreas Klier said. "It was steep, flat, steep, flat. There was wind on the climb, and they could not drop him. In the end, he was super strong and the fastest. It was the perfect victory.”


It was another chilly day on the bike with the peloton rolling out from Jasper in freezing temperatures and overcast skies.


“The team was very active in the beginning,” noted Slagter. “We were in all the breaks we wanted to be in.”


A three-man break escaped. With the summit finish looming, the peloton upped the pace and immediately began to close gap. The breakaway began climb to Marmot Basin Lodge with a 45 second advantage.


With a lone survivor from the early escape dangling off the front, Ryder Hesjedal launched the first of a series of attacks.


“Ryder is the type of climber who can do most of the climb on his own at a very hard pace,” explained Slagter. “It was a good chance for him to make a move early and try to hurt everybody that was left. He couldn’t get away, but the race really opened up at that point.”


Following Hesjedal’s attempts, it was attack, catch, counter-attack all the way up the mountain. Nate Brown took a turn. Davide Formolo did the same. Eventually only a group of 20 remained.


“All the guys used their power today,” said Slagter. “It was a real team effort in the end.”


Twenty become five when Adam Yates (ORICA-GreenEDGE) jumped just beyond the flamme rouge. Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing) marked the move, and Slagter was straight on Mollema’s wheel. Five hundred metres from the finish, Yates had a small gap.


As Mollema attempted to bridge across to Yates, Slagter patiently bided his time. With Yates only a few bike lengths ahead of Mollema, Slagter opened his sprint from behind. His acceleration was enough to overtake Mollema and Yates, opening a gap on both before he reached the finish line.


“I wasn’t bluffing at all yesterday when I said I hoped to be there as long as I can,” noted Slagter. “I didn’t think I would make it to the end with the best climbers in this race. Normally against Mollema and Yates and Spilak, I wouldn’t expect to be with them. This shows the form is better than I thought. I’m very happy with what I could do today.


"For me it was a nice race because I had won already yesterday and that took the pressure off of me. We were very relaxed as a team for this stage with Ryder [Hesjedal], [Davide] Formolo and Nate Brown - a very good team for today. We were confident that we could do a good result.


“For me, personally, I just had to wait and wait, and hang on for as long as possible and try to do my sprint like I did yesterday in the end. I’m glad I won.”


The Tour of Alberta continues on Sunday with an approximately 200-kilometer stage from Edson to Spruce Grove. The stage was originally meant to include 56 kilometers of dirt roads, but road organizers modified the route due to poor road conditions. Dirt roads will still feature in the stage, but there is now only around 19 kilometers of dirt. Despite the reduction of dirt roads, the overall distance has not been changed significantly.



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