Tiesj Benoot abandons Tour de France
A crash during the fourth stage forced him to abandon
Tiesj Benoot got eighth in the Ronde van Vlaanderen today. The victory was for Niki Terpstra, who finished solo in Oudenaarde.
It was an atypical start of the Ronde. Many were interested in joining the early breakaway and that made nobody got away in the beginning. It was only after seventy kilometres that a front group of eleven riders was established. On the Muur van Geraardsbergen, with just under one hundred kilometres to go, Tiesj Benoot raised the pace. Next, four riders bridged to the front, including Mads Pedersen. After the second ascent of the Oude Kwaremont the peloton split in two. Tiesj Benoot was safely in the first group. Terpstra attacked on the Kruisberg. During the last ascent of the Oude Kwaremont he caught the leaders and immediately went solo. Tiesj Benoot accelerated on the Oude Kwaremont, but he couldn’t ride away from the elite group. On the Paterberg Benoot and co followed at half a minute of Terpstra. They weren’t able to catch Terpstra anymore. Mads Pedersen also succeeded in staying ahead, claiming the second place. Philippe Gilbert completed the podium. Tiesj Benoot finished eighth at 25 seconds.
Tiesj Benoot: “I am somewhat disappointed with this eighth place, because I felt like I was one of the best in the race. I had really good legs at the start and that remained the case for the entire race. There were some important teammates missing from our line-up, which made I was all by myself in the finale, but that was something I knew beforehand. When Terpstra attacked, I was a bit boxed in and I couldn’t immediately respond. The way he distanced Nibali uphill was impressive. He is the deserved winner. This eighth place confirms my good condition, but I had hoped for a better result. I hope to be coming back to this race with the same shape in the future, but with a better result at the end.”
“I am really happy to be going to the Sierra Nevada again for another training camp. My next race is the Brabantse Pijl. I am looking forward to the next part of the spring, but first some mental rest in Spain. Afterwards we’ll see what’s possible in the Ardennes races.”