Tyler Farrar of Garmin-Cervélo won the second stage of the Ster ZLM Toer in a remarkable sprint, which he dedicated to his friend Wouter Weylandt who died in a crash during last month's Giro d'Italia.
It has been more than a month since the tragic accident which took the life of Farrar's close friend, and the American has struggled to cope with the grief.
Farrar had also been competing in the Giro d'Italia, and he dropped out the following day after accompanying Weylandt's Leopard Trek teammates across the finish line in Livorno ahead of the neutralised peloton.
He then left Europe for his home in the United States before returning to race at the Criterium du Dauphine, but a lack of results in the French race left him frustrated and questioning his form ahead of the Tour de France.
All that changed with the victory, Farrar told Cyclingnews. "It was an important win for me. After everything that has happened in the last few weeks it was good to show that things are back on track. It hasn't been an easy time for me, but this is a big confidence boost before the Tour."
Although the team's roster has yet to be decided, Farrar is expected to join the Garmin-Cervélo team for the Tour de France when it starts at the Passage du Gois on July 2.