Eneco Tour Stage 2: Boonen Fights for a Podium Place
Etixx - Quick-Step rider Tom Boonen finished 3rd in the 180km Eneco Tour Stage 2 in Breda on Tuesday, despite having to fight through a position that had him boxed in on the right side heading into the sprint finale.
Boonen found an opening, and took a podium place behind stage winner Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) and Jacopo Guarnieri (Katusha).
An original two rider breakaway was brought back with about 15km left to race, and it was then up to the leadout trains to establish position for the group arrival. Etixx - Quick-Step came to the front with four riders at the 2.9km to go mark, and with 1.8km to go the Lotto Soudal train was to the right of the team battling for top postion. But as the race approached the finishing straight, Lotto Soudal and Katusha had the leadout position in front. Boonen improvised and followed the wheels of the leadouts ahead, but going into the sprint Katusha and Lotto Soudal had the position on the right side by the barriers.
Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to another flat stage, 171.9km Stage 4 from Beveren to Ardooie, on Wednesday.
"It was a totally different final than yesterday," Boonen said. "In the last lap the peloton really rode hard. We were placed well in the last kilometer, but I think we started just a little too early again. Next time we need to be a bit more patient. Sprinting is about being there at the right time, in the right position. Andre Greipel was well positioned and also the fastest today. He won fairly, so congratulations to him. The first three days is about testing my legs for the sprint. I will try again tomorrow. I felt good these first two stages. The last days of Eneco Tour won't lie. It's going to be hard. But I'm ready for it. I'm looking forward to it, to hopefully show something in these next days."