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"Tomorrow is a hard stage, but I will try my best. We also have Chava in the top 10 of the GC, so we will see what we can do as a team. Probably the weather will be a little bit worse than today. They forecasted rain and wind, but we w...

Photo: Sirotti






18.08.2013 @ 13:59 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) came agonizingly close to a win in yesterday's queen stage when his late acceleration on the Cote de la Redoute allowed him to overtake all the early escapees excepts stage winner David Lopez. Regretting his missed stage win, the Czech was happy to move up to 2nd overall and has now set his sights on the overall win.


Prior to yesterday's queen stage of the Eneco Tour, most focus on the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team was directed towards time trial winner Sylvain Chavanel. When the stage came to its conclusion, it was, however, another team rider who had move into Chavanel 2nd place on GC.


Zdenek Stybar had already shown his good form with his win on stage 3 and yesterday he was once again in the mix. Having joined a strong chase group containing the likes of Tom Dumoulin (Argos-Shimano), Andriy Grivko (Astana) and Jan Bakelants (Radioshack), he was allowed to sit on while Dumoulin and Grivko did the bulk of the work, hoping for Chavanel to get back on.


That never happened and so Stybar had to play his own cards in the final sprint up the famous Cote de la Redoute. His strong acceleration saw him catch all the escapees except stage winner David Lopez and so he had to settle for 2nd, 2 seconds behind the stage winner.


"It was a hard day since the beginning," Stybar said. "I tried to do the early sprint for the seconds, and I felt at that time that I hadn't really fully recovered from the time trial. The feeling got better as the race went on. But still, the race was really hard. On the first passage of La Redoute there was already some time between the breakaway and the peloton. We had Stijn [Vandenbergh] in front and I was behind, so the fact that Stijn was in front allowed to sit on."


"In the final Dumoulin did a great job in the small group to catch the three guys in front," he continued. "He was really strong today and he deserves his leadership in the GC. I didn't collaborate because I was waiting for Chavanel, to see if he was able to come back. It wasn't the case. But OK, I think I did a good race."


Afterwards, Stybar had a few regrets.


"I am happy even if the sprint for me could have maybe started 50 or 60 meters earlier," he said. "If I did that, I could have maybe done better, but it is easy to talk about these things when the stage is over. The truth is that everybody was waiting until the last moment because La Redoute is really steep. We all wanted to avoid the problem of paying for the effort on the climb."


Stybar is now 2nd overall, just 9 seconds behind new race leader Dumoulin. With a mini Tour of Flanders in the Flemish Ardennes coming up, he has now set his sights on the overall win.


"Tomorrow is a hard stage, but I will try my best," he said. "We also have Chava in the top 10 of the GC, so we will see what we can do as a team. Probably the weather will be a little bit worse than today. They forecasted rain and wind, but we will see. We have a good team and we will do everything we can for a good result tomorrow."


Starting at 14.15 CEST you can follow the final stage on



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