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ZLM Tour

Rune Herregodts wins the opening time trial: “The reward for numerous investments”

This Wednesday 5th of June, Rune Herregodts won the opening time trial of the ZLM Tour, conquering the first yellow leader’s jersey in the Dutch stage race.

A historic victory for team Intermarché-Wanty, which after many investments in the discipline in recent years, thus wins the first time trial of its history in an international UCI event.

On his CUBE Aerium TT, Rune Herregodts set the best time in this time trial held in the early evening in Westkapelle, in Zealand. He covered the 14.7 kilometers with a reference time of 17 minutes 16, or an average speed of 51 kilometers per hour. His teammate Roel van Sintmaartensdijk joins him in the top 10 with seventh place.

In doing so, Herregodts achieves his very first victory in the colours of Intermarché-Wanty, the seventh of the Walloon World Team in 2024. Since joining the team in 2023, Herregodts multiplied strong performances in the races against the clock, with notably a top 10 in the Critérium du Dauphiné and a bronze medal at the Belgian championship.

"I had a lot of ambition at the start of this time trial and I'm proud to achieve this victory, the first in an international time trial in the history of the team. It's a reward for the investments made by our structure in this discipline in recent years. To be able to pretend to the victory, every detail counts, which requires enormous efforts from all parties involved, riders, staff and partners. For example, I received the support of sports director Dimitri Claeys for the recon of this time trial and the one of Belgium Tour for next Wednesday. Since the arrival of our trainer Adriaan Helmantel, our time trial protocols have become even more structured, so that nothing is left to chance and that all staff and riders know exactly what awaits them. Before this time trial, Adriaan and I discussed at length the best starting time based on the wind forecasts. He also promised me to swim in the sea if a rider from our team won. It was the extra motivating factor during the last kilometers along the coast..." "The credits for this special victory also go to our partners. Thanks to our historical partner Cube, we have custom-made time trial handlebars, based on our aero tests on the track and our bike-fitting sessions with CyclingLab. Since the start of this season, our new partner Ere Research provides lighter and more aerodynamic time trial wheels. And I am extremely satisfied with the efforts of our equipment supplier Verge Sport, who has developed various prototypes and organised wind tunnel tests in close collaboration with us, to produce an extremely competitive time trial suit on a short term. All partners share our ambition and work in the same direction, they want the best and give their all so that we continue going faster. This efficient collaboration is made possible by the encouragements of our Performance Manager Aike Visbeek and Head of Equipment Mikey van Kruiningen." "Now, we hope to continue this success in the coming days with our sprinter Gerben Thijssen. In the four flat stages he has a good chance in the bunch sprints, an ambition quite compatible with our desire to defend the leader's jersey. There are bonus seconds at the finish line which can shake up the rankings and we prefer to keep them in our camp. My 12 second lead gives me a lot of confidence. Our team is also weaponed in case of crosswinds, as we have several specialists in our selection. We are very motivated to fight for this yellow jersey until Sunday!"


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