Friday, May 15, 2015

Olympia's Tour: Vermeulen wins the Belgian sojourn

Stepping out of the Netherlands, the Olympia's 3M Tour made a fairly unprecedented step by having a stage completely out of the country by hopping over the border to Diegem, Belgium for lord knows why. One reason that I can think of is that it is a halfway point between Reuver, where stage 3 was held, and Delft, which is hosting the split stage tomorrow. Another is that the race is sponsored by the Benelux arm of 3M, which would be looking to get more coverage of the race outside of the Netherlands.

In any case, it was a cut and dry affair. A break of 9 including names such as Floris Gerts (BMC Development), Martijn Budding (Rabobank Development) and James SHaw (Lotto-Belisol U23) got away early and got a couple of minutes advantage. Jochem Hoekstra (Jo Piels) grabbed the KOM jersey for his efforts but the breakaway was doomed.

In the sprint, it was the sames names that you have been hearing all week coming to the forefront. The two leadout men, Elmar Reinders (Jo Piels) and Marco Zanotti (Parkhotel Valkenburg), were battling for position while their respective leaders, Jeff Vermeulen and Wim Stroetinga, bidded their time. Reinders did a masterful leadout to spring Vermeulen and the Jo Piels rider was able to grab his 3rd win of the year while Stroetinga came in 2nd and Coen Vermeltfoort grabbed his 3rd podium of the week in 3rd.

No offense but this stage left much to be desired in terms of excitement. Hopefully going to Delft and the royal family, Johannas Vermeer and Delftware will inspire the race and see a thrilling conclusion.

The race will conclude with a split stage on Saturday in Delft with a TT in the morning and a afternoon road stage followed by a circuit in Rijswijk on Sunday.

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