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Benelux Tour

Taco van der Hoorn breaks away, resists and wins

The Dutchman of the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, already winner after a thrilling breakaway in the Giro d’Italia, repeated the feat on Wednesday in stage 3 of the Benelux Tour (2.WT, 30/08-5/09). Along with five other riders, Taco van der Hoorn broke away early on but never enjoyed much freedom, the maximum gap never even reached 3 minutes. 

On an entirely flat course, the sprinter teams had every chance to compete for the honors at Hoogerheide, at the end of this 168 kilometer-long stage. However van der Hoorn breakaway kept resisting valiantly, even after losing a rider 95 kilometers from the finish.

The now quintet constantly battled against the peloton, and their perfect collaboration kept the gap at around one minute 10 kilometers from the finish. A sufficient lead to keep the peloton in check and compete for victory in a five-man sprint. Taco van der Hoorn launched his powerful effort 200 meters from the finish, with no one able to get past him. He grabs therefore his second win in the event and his second also this season. Danny van Poppel took eighth place on the stage, taking third place in the peloton’s sprint.

It is fantastic when a plan comes together! When analyzing the parcours I discovered that this stage was perfect for a breakaway because of the small roads. At first, I missed the breakaway because I expected it to be formed on a large road instead of a small one. But thanks to the help of my teammates I managed to join the leaders. Actually the peloton could have known that it was dangerous to let us go, because the composition of our group was really strong. Riders like Durbridge are really powerful! But also tactically we were strong. We rode a good pace from the beginning and left something for the final. Our turns in the front were equally divided, so we used our energy optimally. I planned to make use of the little hill in the final kilometer to attack, but Battistella prevented me to do it. I wasn’t confident for the sprint, but thanks to good positioning and timing I managed to take the victory! I’m really happy! 


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