Eneco Tour Stage 4: Boonen New GC Leader
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Tom Boonen, knowing all of OPQS was just outside the GC lead due to their TTT performance in an earlier Eneco Tour stage, took 2nd in a crucial sprint section in the 215km 4th Stage on Thursday.
As a result, Boonen gained 2" of time, and put himself in the virtual leader's jersey by 1". He then tried to go for the final sprint after a break was caught inside 12km to go. However, he couldn't outsprint Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano), who went with 200 meters to go and could not be caught. Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol) took 2nd, and Giacomo Nizzolo (Radioshack-Nissan) was 3rd. Boonen finished 4th, but is now the new race leader of Eneco Tour.
"The plan was to win the stage," Boonen said. "It didn't work out, but we have the leader's jersey. We were chasing down the breakaway a few kilometers before the sprint bonification. We were in the front of the peloton and automatically I took the bonification. I'm happy because I like this race and it's always nice to get the leader's jersey. Tomorrow we will have to control the race, which is never easy. Then we have to do a good time trial. I really want to ride a good TT going into the last stage. But I'm not the only one in the team who can do well. Niki, Sylvain, Dries and Michal are all good time trialists and they are also good on a parcour like the one we have to face off on, on Sunday. We will see."