Solid second for Tony Martin in Belgium Tour opener
Three-time winner of the race, the German kicked-off his campaign with a result which underlined his good form.
One of the oldest stage races in the world, the Belgium Tour scheduled a short but technical prologue on the first day, in Beveren, a small town located in the province of East Flanders, which hasn't hosted a stage for three years. At the end of the day, Tony Martin was the best placed rider of our team, rolling over the line just two seconds down on the winner, Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice). Besides the German Champion, also Niki Terpstra and Yves Lampaert had a strong ride in the 6-km long prologue, their combined results sending Etixx – Quick-Step at the top of the teams standings.
"I'm happy about today, because I came here without putting any pressure on my shoulders, which was normal considering I took a long break after what was a busy spring. I felt good on the bike, the condition is there and I'm sure I will improve in the next stages. It's a pity that I finished second, as I always want to win when there's a time trial. We have a strong team here, many of our guys are in the top 10 and everything is possible, so I'm looking forward to this week", said the three-time ITT World Champion after the prologue.
On Thursday, the peloton will travel 174.5 kilometers from Buggenhout to Knokke-Heist for a stage which should end up in a bunch sprint.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele