stage 2

Time trial day

Gaps were expected right from the second stage of the Renewi Tour, this Thursday, with a short time trial of 13.6 kilometres in Sluis, in the Netherlands. Joshua Tarling, a bronze medalist in the last World Championships, took the win. Miles Scotson, the best rider from Groupama-FDJ, finished fifty-three seconds behind the British rider. Friday, action is expected on the queen stage in Flanders, around the Muur of Geraardsbergen.

For the only time this week, the Renewi Tour was making a detour to the Netherlands. Still, a crucial day was on the riders’ menu, since the 13,6-kilometre time trial was to establish a first hierarchy in the general classification. The day after Jasper Philipsen’s victory, the time trial specialists were expected on a pan-flat course. “It was a very fast course, with a bit of wind, a few turns but nothing dangerous”, explained Julien Pinot. “It was perfect for strong rouleurs and aero specialists.” Although the stage started shortly after 2 p.m., the first Groupama-FDJ rider, namely Miles Scotson, only set off at 3:24 p.m., before being copied straight away by Kevin Geniets then Lars van den Berg. The Australian then crossed the line with a time of 15’58, fifty-three seconds behind Joshua Tarling, leader at that point and leader until the end.

“We didn’t have the rider to compete for the top spots”, Julien Pinot

Thanks to an average speed of 54 km/h, the young Briton claimed the win on Thursday while Kevin Geniets lost 1’02, Laurence Pithie 1’03 and Valentin Madouas 1’25. “You can sometimes expect a good surprise,” added Julien. “In the end, it was a time trial for pure specialists, and we didn’t have any, so we’re further back in the standings. We hoped that Kevin or Val, who don’t always go full-gas on the time trials in stage races, would outperform. It didn’t really happen, but it must also be said that they are returning to racing after a short break after the World Champs. Anyway, everyone did it properly. Laurence and Kevin may have started stronger than expected and struggled a bit at the end. With a better pace, they could have gained a few seconds, but we didn’t have the rider to compete for the top spots today. That said, the most important stage for our riders is tomorrow”. Friday, the peloton will head to Geraardsbergen, with thirteen bergs on the menu, including the iconic “Muur” three times.

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