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"I never rode those cobbles in the rain, so for me it will be a surprise. You'll need more luck, to handle the bike right, and understand that it will be a big circus in those conditions tomorrow."

Photo: Sirotti








08.07.2014 @ 23:02 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Being the Paris-Roubaix champion, Niki Terpstra will be a marked man in tomorrow's fifth stage of the Tour de France but the Dutchman is looking forward to the challenge. Admitting that he is under a bit of pressure, he is also a bit uncertain about what to expect in the rain as he has never raced over the cobbles in wet conditions.


Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Mark Renshaw finished 7th in the 163.5km Stage 4 of Tour de France, from Le Touquet Paris-Plage to Lille on Tuesday, after OPQS put all eight riders on the front in the final 5 kilometers in anticipation of the bunch sprint.


Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) was able to take the victory, with Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) 2nd, and Arnaud Demare ( 3rd. OPQS and Giant-Shimano leadout trains had quite a battle in the final few kilometers for position.


"It was a difficult sprint to judge," Renshaw said. "I was in the front a little bit early with just two Katusha riders at about 500 meters to go. So, a little bit of track experience, I tried to give about two lengths so I could have a run at Kristoff when he went. But, unfortunately I didn't have the legs to beat Kittel.


"The team rode excellent today. One of the best rides of the team we've seen this year which makes it more bittersweet to not have Cav here at the end of the train. We'll keep fighting as we're showing we can consistently be present in the key moments of stages here at the Tour."


The day was far from easy for OPQS, as Michal Kwiatkowski had to chase back onto the peloton after he suffered a flat tire earlier in the race. OPQS led the chase of a second group to guide the Polish rider back into the group. Niki Terpstra also suffered a crash, but continued and even helped with the leadout train.


OPQS looks next to the cobbled stage of the Tour: A 155.5km stage — with nine cobbled sectors — from Ypres to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut.


Terpstra, 2014 Paris-Roubaix winner, is certainly one rider looking forward to the 5th Stage.


"The damage is not that bad," Terpstra said of the consequences of his crash. "It's not ideal, but OK, I'll deal with it as best I can tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to this cobbled stage. I love that kind of terrain. For the peloton, many suffer on those kinds of roads in the way that I suffer in the mountains. So it will be a fun experience for me.


"It's nice to have this feeling of excitement for tomorrow's stage, even if there is some pressure as I'm the winner of Paris-Roubaix. The crowds will be as excited as we are as well. I never rode those cobbles in the rain, so for me it will be a surprise. You'll need more luck, to handle the bike right, and understand that it will be a big circus in those conditions tomorrow."



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