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"In the final, a rider in front of me lost his pedal so I had to close a small gap and spent my energy there. I came too short." 

Photo: A.S.O.

MAARTEN TJALLINGII

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MORENO HOFLAND

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ROBERT WAGNER

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TEAM JUMBO-VISMA

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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24.08.2014 @ 19:13 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Moreno Hofland got his first ever chance to do a grand tour sprint in today' second stage of the Vuelta a Espana. However, a small gap in the finale meant that he used his energy too early and had to settle for 9th.

 

Moreno Hofland led home the Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM in the second stage of the Vuelta a España today in San Fernando. The Dutchman placed ninth behind stage winner Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr).

"In the final, a rider in front of me lost his pedal so I had to close a small gap and spent my energy there," Hofland said. "I came too short."

Robert Wagner had a first-hand look at the sprint. He helped lead the team's two fast men Hofland and Paul Martens to the close of the 174.4-kilometre, hot stage from Algeciras in southern Spain.

"It was pretty hectic final, but I didn't expect otherwise," the German explained. "It was really difficult. I'd say we did really well until two or 1.5 kilometres to the finish, we were there with Paul and Moreno.

"There was a big mess with 1.2 out, that's where I lost the wheel. A guy from Giant-Shimano missed the turn, and Moreno was on his own. I couldn't help him any more. It wasn't like we hoped, but I hope we have more chances."

“In the finale we took the inner corner instead of outside and then a rider lost his pedal,” Sports Director Nico Verhoeven said. “Moreno did not have enough left to go for the win after that.”
 

Even if it did not go as he hoped, Hofland closed the second stage in the top nine and the team's classification riders remained safe. Only Maarten Tjallingii had a scare. He crashed and fell a metre down from the roadside. He suffered in the final kilometres and pushed himself to the finish at one minute behind the winner.


"He had a bad crash," Sports Director Nico Verhoeven said. "I hope he's good for tomorrow."

Tomorrow the race finishes with a small uphill kick over two kilometres. Only the last 200 metres are flat, so it will take a strong sprinter to win the 197.8-kilometre stage in Arcos de la Frontera.

"I hope Moreno can do it, but if not, Paul Martens is a better climber and maybe can sprint," Verhoeven added. "But we also have to stay with Wilco and Robert, our GC riders."

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