Olympia’s Tour Stage 2: Eenkhoorn Secures Second to Retain Leader’s Jersey6. September 2017, Assen (NED) — Development Team
Pascal Eenkhoorn extended his overall race lead on Olympia’s Tour stage 2 today after sprinting to second on the line following an afternoon in the breakaway alongside teammate Pavel Sivakov.
It was a fast start to the day with rider after rider trying to force a move at the front of the race. But, with the peloton chasing down each one, it took just over 55km, of the 131km course, for a group of 13 riders, including race leader, Eenkhoorn, and Sivakov, to be able to go clear.
The group quickly built up an advantage of over 1'20", and with the chase from the peloton behind slowing down, the leaders were able to hold onto this advantage approaching the final 30km of the day.
The attacks soon began, but with Eenkhoorn and Sivakov sitting first and second overall on the General Classification, the pair were motivated and worked hard to bring the group back together.
In the end, the race came down to a final sprint between the 13 riders in front with Patrick Van Der Duin (Baby - Dump Cycling Team) taking the win, narrowly beating Eenkhoorn in the final race for the line.
After taking bonus seconds throughout the stage and on the line, Eenkhoorn now sits nine seconds ahead of his teammate, Sivakov on the General Classification.
Quotes From the Finish Line
"It was a hard stage. I attacked a few times, and with the team, we tried to make the race hard and force echelons to form, but unfortunately, there was never a big split. Various groups tried to go off the front, including a move with some of our guys, but I stayed in the second or third wheel in the bunch as I knew some teams had missed out and that it would be pulled back. Then, there was an attack from a rider from SEG Racing Academy, and I went with him alongside one other, and we went full gas before ten other guys, including Pavel Sivakov bridged across, and we immediately had a gap on the peloton. We were working really well together, and I was feeling really good all day. "
"In the final, I talked with Pavel and said that I wanted to sprint as I knew I was one of the fastest guys and that there were bonus seconds. One rider attacked in the last two 2km and Pavel did a great job closing the gap before I finished it off. The sprint was launched with 300m to go, and as we went round the final corner I was in front, and only the rider who won could pass me. We showed once again that we are the strongest team here and with the bonus seconds, I gained some time, so it was only a positive day for me. Hopefully, over the next few days, we can continue like this and control the race."
Sports Director, Klaas Lodewyck:
"It was a short stage today, and there was a big chance that we could see echelons forming. As it was still close on the GC, we didn't want to sacrifice anyone at this stage so, in the beginning, everyone had the chance to jump in moves. It was like a kermesse race today with attack after attack before, suddenly, we had 13 riders in front with Pascal Eenkhoorn and Pavel Sivakov. It was a good move for us, and the other guys could wait in the peloton and see what happened. The two guys stayed in front, and maybe they worked too much in the end, but second is a good result, and we still have the leader's jersey. Everyone was strong again today, and we can remain confident looking ahead to the rest of the week."
Stage 2: Assen > Assen, 131km
Top 3: 1. Patrick Van Der Duin (Baby - Dump Cycling Team) 2. Pascal Eenkhoorn (BMC Development Team) 3. Marten Kooistra (SEG Racing Academy)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 2. Pascal Eenkhoorn 11. Pavel Sivakov 15. Jasper Philipsen