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"We normally have all six of our men around them. Some stay right at their sides and look over them but it's the goal of the whole team to protect our GC riders," Verhoeven says

Photo: Sirotti










14.03.2014 @ 12:23 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

It was a day of survival for Belkin in yesterday's flat Tirreno-Adriatico stage and the team did well to keep Bauke Mollema and Robert Gesink safe in the crash-marred finale. In the end, Robert Wagner got his chance to do the sprint and came away with 11th.


The Belkin Pro Cycling Team led its captains home safely in Tirreno-Adriatico stage two yesterda. Robert Gesink and Bauke Mollema avoided two crashes in the final 15 kilometres to Cascina in central Italy.

"We were lucky that all of our guys got by," Sports Director Nico Verhoeven said.

Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) won the sprint ahead of Arnaud Démare (, Belkin's Robert Wagner placed 11th and favourite Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) crashed.


Verhoeven said that the safety of his riders came first. In particular, he wants to ensure that Gesink and Mollema arrive to fight in this weekend's mountain stages.

"We normally have all six of our men around them," Verhoeven explained. "Some stay right at their sides and look over them but it's the goal of the whole team to protect our GC riders."

Wagner sprints the fastest out of his team-mates and received a green light from Verhoeven to try for a win.

"I had free reign to sprint and didn't have to stay with Robert and Bauke," Wagner said. "I tried but when you're alone it's really hard."


Today's stage to Arezzo should unfold similarly. The sprinters should have their chance to win but Belkin will keep an eye on its GC men.

"It's different circuit," Verhoeven added. "The sprint is one kilometre and five per cent uphill on big cobblestones. It will be difficult, there could be time differences in the sprint and we have to watch out for it. We'll be able to see how it will go when we are doing the first of the circuits." 

Wagner, like today, should work for his leaders and sprint for the win. The rest of the green and black boys will circle Gesink and Mollema.


You can read our preview of stage 3 here.



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