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“Marco [Coledan] made a good sprint, he was 12th, and also Bauke was also up there in 18th. We knew that we would more than likely lose the jersey, but we are confident that we can get it back later."

Photo: Sirotti






04.09.2015 @ 06:13 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After a long day pulling the peloton, Trek Factory Racing helped bring everything together for the expected bunch finish in stage two at the Tour of Alberta.  Also expected was Bauke Mollema ceding his leader’s jersey to the fast legs of Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEdge), who started the day on the same time.


“We knew that if it came to a bunch sprint that Matthews would more than likely take the jersey,” explained director, Kim Andersen. “We had the responsibility to control today and we discussed in the morning meeting that we are here to race, we are here to be good, so we took the lead in the peloton from the start.”


The cold temperatures continued and the rain also began to fall in the second part of the 171.6-kilometer race, forcing riders to don long finger gloves, jackets, and full leg warmers – clothing not seen or worn since the cold spring races, but this is northern Canada and normal conditions for this latitude.


"It was a really cold day, seven-eight degrees (Celsius),” continued Andersen about the miserable conditions the riders endured. “Lucky that the first 100 kilometers were dry, then we had a little bit of rain, dry again, and then a cold rain started.


“There was not much activity, I think everyone was actually quite cold. And in the end in the last five, six kilometers [Orica] GreenEdge took over and it ended as we expected with Matthews winning and taking the jersey.”


With the leader’s jersey on the back of Bauke Mollema, the onus was on Trek Factory Racing to lead the chase of the day’s four-man escape, and with the cold, wet weather the boys welcomed the work. 


For nearly four hours, the pinstripes rotated at the front, keeping themselves warm and the quartet within manageable distance.


The gap fell to the four escapees until they were eventually absorbed on the final climb, eight kilometers from the end.


The sprinters’ teams swarmed the front in the closing kilometers and shut down a late four-man counterattack; with three kilometers to go all was together and the bunch sprint imminent.


And, as anticipated, Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEdge) eked out the win in a photo finish, took the bonus seconds and snatched the leader’s jersey.


“We allowed four riders to go that were good for us and then we pulled with Kristof [Vandewalle] and Rasty [Gregory Rast]. They pulled really well, for more than 130 kilometers,” explained Andersen.


“Marco [Coledan] made a good sprint, he was 12th, and also Bauke was also up there in 18th. We knew that we would more than likely lose the jersey, but we are confident that we can get it back later. Tomorrow is not super, super hard, but the finish is uphill so we will already see what happens. But stage four is quite hard so we hope for good legs then.”


Trek Factory Racing gave up the lead, but also gave up the responsibility that comes with yellow; the team will now be able to take more of a backseat and save its energy as the race heads into Jasper National Park and the Canadian Rockies. 



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