Eneco Tour Stage 6: Stybar 2nd on La Redoute Stage, Rises to 2nd in GC
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Zdenek Stybar, in a small chase group, earned a 2nd place finish in the 150km Stage 6 of Eneco Tour on Saturday. The stage included three ascents of La Redoute, and the high pace of the peloton caused a splintering into small groups.
Zdenek Stybar, Kevin De Weert, Sylvain Chavanel, and Niki Terpstra were all in different groups in the final kilometers, but Stybar's group was the closest to a trio that emerged from an original 11 rider breakaway that included OPQS rider Stijn Vandenbergh. Stybar's group was less than 22" from the leaders inside 3km to go.
David Lopez (Sky ProCycling) went solo in the final few hundred meters when he saw the Stybar group was closing in on the breakaway. He stayed away for the victory, winning by two seconds. Maciej Paterski (Cannondale ProCycling Team) was 3rd.
Lars Boom (Belkin ProCycling) lost contact on one of the La Redoute ascents, dropping him from the top of the GC. Tom Dumoulin (Argos-Shimano) was in the Stybar group, and took over the race lead by 8" over Stybar, and 23" over Andriy Grivko (Astana Pro Team).
"It was a hard day since the beginning," Stybar said. "I tried to do the early bonification for the seconds, and I felt at that time that I didn't really recover fully from the time trial. But the feeling got better as the race went on. But still, the race was really hard. On the first passage of La Redoute there was already some time between the riders in front and the group. We had Stijn in front and I was behind, so the fact that Stijn was in front, he protected us. In the final Dumoulin did a great job in the small group to catch the three guys in front. He was really strong today and he deserves his leadership in the GC. I didn't collaborate because I was waiting for Chavanel, to see if he was able to come back. But it wasn't the case. But OK, I think I did a good race. I am happy with it even if the sprint for me could have maybe started 50 or 60 meters before. If I did that, I could have maybe done better, but it is easy to talk about these things after the stage is over. The truth is, everybody was waiting until the last moment because La Redoute is really steep. We all wanted to avoid the problem of paying for the effort on the climbs."
Alessandro Petacchi abandoned the race after a crash. OPQS looks next to a final 208km Stage on Sunday.
"Tomorrow is a hard stage, but I will try my best," Stybar said. "We also have Chava in the top 10 of the GC, so we will see what we can do as a team. Probably the weather will be a little bit worse than today. They forecasted rain and wind, but we will see. We have a good team and we will do everything we can for a good result tomorrow."