Eneco Tour Stage 1: Boonen 11th in Bunch Arrival
Despite bad luck with a puncture, and then being caught behind a crash, Etixx - Quick-Step rider Tom Boonen still made it back to the peloton and was brought to the front to contest the 183.5km bunch arrival of Eneco Tour, Stage 1, on Monday in Bolsward.
Boonen finished 11th, as Elia Viviani (Team Sky) won the stage over Danny Van Poppel (Trek Factory Racing), and Jean-Pierre Drucker (BMC Racing Team).
The race came back together and was heading toward a bunch sprint with about 15km left to race. Though here was initial organization in the front of the bunch, in the last few kilometers leadout trains became a bit disorganized and it was a hectic bunch sprint finale.
Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to 180km Stage 2 in Breda. Stage 2 is another flat stage, but winds could play a role in how the race evolves.
"I was behind Nikolas Maes and Yves Lampaert on the left side," Boonen said. "Riders who were on the right side couldn't keep up with the pace. At one point all three of us were full on in the wind. At a certain moment we tried to go on the right side and then move back to the left, but then other riders came up from the back and the position was lost. I was a bit nervous though, today. It was pretty hectic. First I had a puncture, and later I was caught behind a crash and I had to bridge to come back to the peloton. I used important energy in those moments. But overall I feel good, and tomorrow is a new day."