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ZLM Tour

Thijssen on the podium, Herregodts keeps his yellow jersey

Team Intermarché-Wanty claimed its second consecutive podium on the ZLM Tour on Thursday, this time through their sprinter Gerben Thijssen, who finished third in the sprint in Wissenkerke.

Following Rune Herregodts’ victory in the opening time trial, the Walloon team had the task of defending the yellow jersey, as well as preparing for the sprint finish at the end of the second stage.

Intermarché-Wanty controlled the gap with the initial breakaway of four riders at the front of the peloton all day long, then with the breakaway of six riders that was formed on the local circuit.

Herregodts, who reached the final three kilometers safely, was assured of keeping his jersey for a second day in a row. He contributed to the team effort by bringing Gerben Thijssen into the final straight, enabling him to achieve his fifth podium of the season.

"This is the third time in my career that I have the honour of defending the yellow leader's jersey, after the Sazka Tour and the Tour of Andalusia in 2022. But in this ZLM Tour, the situation is different, because I have the ambition to defend this jersey until the end. As a team, we got well through this nervous day with risk of crosswinds and on a stressful course. Kevin Kuhn and Alessio Delle Vedove did a great job at the front of the peloton, while the rest of the team fought for positioning and surrounded Gerben in the approach towards the sprint. We divided our forces into protecting me and preparing for the sprint, which is probably why we were missing a rider in the last few kilometers to guide Gerben into an ideal position. But it's great to get another podium and we still have three more chances in the sprint. I feel like a stage win is coming for Gerben."

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