Crashes and wild weather made for a "crazy" day
The opening day of the Eneco Tour was a bruising affair for Orica-GreenEdge with crashes and a late attack disrupting the team's ambitions of victory.
With strong winds and rain characterising the first half of the day, a crash in the closing kilometre to Matt Goss ended his chances for victory on a forgettable day for the team.
Aidis Kroupis and Leigh Howard were present in the first group in as the finishline was approaching along with Jens Keukeleire, but they lost each other in the run in to the final as Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) late surge for the stage win disrupted the sprint trains that had to come to the front.
"The guys did pretty well to be up there under the circumstances," sport director Matt Wilson said.
"We lost about half the team by the time the sprint even came around. They just lost each other at the finish and that was it.
"No team was able to formulate a sprint train today, it was just too crazy. There were crashes at every corner into the final and with the rain and the wind it was pretty hectic."
Earlier on in the day neo-pro Damien Howson was the victim of a crash but looks likely to start stage 2 as Wilson explained.
"Both Damien [Howson] and Gossy [Matt Goss] are both hurt but nothing looks broken at this stage. We might go for a scan or two tonight but they look OK to start tomorrow," Wilson said.
Stage 2 on paper is a day for the sprinters, and Wilson is hoping that the finale will be less stressful and that the team can get through unscathed.
"On paper it is a very similar stage to today," Wilson said. "The weather looks very similar, but probably it is a little more sheltered and not quite as open where we are going tomorrow so I would expect at this stage a more controlled and orderly finish.
"But who knows, it's very unpredictable up here."
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