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Gutierrez sprints sans saddle to Eneco Tour win

Shane Stokes
August 28, 2008, 0:00 BST,
April 22, 2009, 19:33 BST
First Edition Cycling News, August 28, 2008
Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne)

Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne)

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Caisse d'Epargne's José Iván Gutierrez took his second consecutive overall victory in the Eneco Tour...

Caisse d'Epargne's José Iván Gutierrez took his second consecutive overall victory in the Eneco Tour on the race's final time trial, but he had to do so without the comfort of his bicycle's saddle. The Spaniard's saddle bounced off of its rails on the rough cobblestones of the final kilometre, and Gutierrez was forced to pedal standing for the remainder of the course.

Gutierrez took second on the stage to Raivis Belohvosciks (Team Scott-American Beef), just eight seconds from the win. His time eclipsed that of the morning's overall leader, Team Columbia's André Greipel, by 25 seconds to move him up into the top spot in the standings.

"I started confidently in the closing time trial, because I knew that I could make the difference there," Gutierrez said. "It almost went all wrong in the last kilometer when I lost my saddle. Fortunately it happened near the end, because if happened in the beginning of the stage, I could forget about the overall win. But I was still sprinting full out on the pedals in the last mile, because it was really a matter of seconds."

Gutierrez was please to take the win on the final stage. "I said the very first day the final time trial would decide everything and it has been the case", he said. "In such a race, all flat and where the wind can be very important and make that you lose plenty of time, you have to be very attentive every day."

Sébastien Rosseler (Quick Step) and former world time trial champion Michael Rogers were within fractions of a second of Gutierrez on the stage, placing third and fourth respectively. Belgian time trial champion Stijn Devolder was fifth. The efforts of Rosseler, Rogers and fifth placed Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) were enough to move ahead of Greipel in the overall classification.

Continue to the full report, results and photos.

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