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André Greipel was not about to take his stage 1 disappointment at the Eneco Tour lying down. The Lotto-Soudal sprint star came through with a convincing sprint win on Tuesday in Breda, Netherlands. Jesper Asselman (Roompot) moved into first place overall thanks to time bonuses while riding in the breakaway.
“Today’s stage was quite relaxed, with only two riders in front,” said Greipel. “We had a plan. Maybe it was a bit too early to come to the front for us, but it turned out Stig Broeckx, Tim Wellens, and Tiesj Benoot were strong enough to keep us in front ’til three kilometers to go. Then we could rely on the experience of Marcel Sieberg, Greg Henderson, and Jürgen Roelandts. Afterwards Jens Debusschere took over, and I finished it off.”
Top 10, stage 2
- 1. André GREIPEL, LOTTO SOUDAL, in 4:12:52
- 2. Jacopo GUARNIERI, TEAM KATUSHA, at :00
- 3. Tom BOONEN, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at :00
- 4. Jean-Pierre DRUCKER, BMC RACING TEAM, at :00
- 5. Danny VAN POPPEL, TREK FACTORY RACING, at :00
- 6. Arnaud DEMARE, FDJ, at :00
- 7. Viacheslav KUZNETSOV, TEAM KATUSHA, at :00
- 8. Roy JANS, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :00
- 9. Sébastien TURGOT, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :00
- 10. Sacha MODOLO, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at :00
- 1. Jesper ASSELMAN, ROOMPOT ORANJE PELOTON, in 8:18:55
- 2. André GREIPEL, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :05
- 3. Elia VIVIANI, TEAM SKY, at :05
- 4. Danny VAN POPPEL, TREK FACTORY RACING, at :09
- 5. Jacopo GUARNIERI, TEAM KATUSHA, at :09
- 6. Gijs VAN HOECKE, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at :09
- 7. Laurens DE VREESE, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :10
- 8. Nico DENZ, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :10
- 9. Jean-Pierre DRUCKER, BMC RACING TEAM, at :11
- 10. Tom BOONEN, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at :11
The peloton was split by a crash inside of final two kilometers, midway through the field. Matti Breschel (Tinkoff-Saxo) was taken down by a Wanty-Groupe Gobert rider who had clipped the barriers, and a chain reaction ensued.
Lotto-Soudal was unperturbed, with a fearsome four-man lead-out in control going into the final kilometer. Jens Debusschere was the last man in the formation to deliver Greipel to the sprint, and the German leader didn’t have any trouble driving home to victory.
Katusha’s Jacopo Guarnieri tried to move up the right side, but he couldn’t close fast enough and finished second. Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quick-Step) was boxed in during the finale and had to settle for third.
“It was a great team effort, the guys nearly carried me to the line,” Greipel added. “There was a bit of a headwind, and the team really made the difference; I’m grateful to the guys.”
On Wednesday, the race runs from Beveren to Ardooie, a 171.9km stage that takes the Eneco Tour into Belgium.