After the brutal weather yesterday, today it was a lot nicer out
with sun, blue skies and hardly any wind. Luckily it stayed dry for
the whole day although a tiny bit of rain was starting at the end,
but not enough to make the roads wet.� It was a good day anyway,
definitely when it came to the weather. It was also a good day
because the sun shone on our team in the race too.
With Gilbert looking pretty solid in the general classification,
the race was controlled from kilometre 0 by his team Omega
Pharma-Lotto. They didnt let any big groups get away or any group
with any potential candidates for the overall classification
either. The start of the race was pretty tough but then things
eased down and a three man group got away. It ended up becoming a
typical mass sprint stage with the only thing being that there was
a bit of wind in the finale for the fairly nervous peloton. The
wind wasnt strong enough to make a difference and after the final
breakaway survivor had being caught, we tried to stay with as many
teammates as possible near Kenny van Hummel to prepare the
The final 4 kilometres were fairly dangerous with loads of
corners and small roads but the final finishing straight of 600
metres were better and in the very last 100 metres the road went
uphill. The whole team worked well to place Kenny close to the
front of the peloton with Tom Veelers and myself being there for
the final 4 kilometres. We brought Kenny to the wheel of the riders
from Vacansoleil who were setting the sprint up for their man and
Kenny finished off the work of the team in style by taking the win.
It was a great win for Kenny and for the whole Skil-Shimano team! I
was fairly close by during the final sprint, I had a great view and
while celebrating Kennys win I managed to come in 15th
place. Its always great when a teammate wins but when you feel that
you were part of that win, its even better. Super!
So tomorrow its another flat stage with a possible mass sprint
again and then on Saturday Ill test my legs to see how good they
are in the time trial as so far I feel great.