Iván Gutiérrez (Caisse d'Epargne) was unable to race in the Spring Classics due to a crash in the Tirreno-Adriatico but yesterday in Eneco Tour stage one he had his chance at covering some of the famous Ardennes climbs in Belgium. The 28 year-old Spaniard finished third behind Nuyens and Dekker. Thursday's stage from Waremme to Eupen covered part of the parcours that are often found in the Ardennes Classics Flèche-Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
"This stage was a very beautiful one, very similar to a Classic," explained the overall winner of the Tour Méditerranéen after the stage.
"Yesterday, I was not lucky in the prologue, because I started in the second part and it was raining all the time, but I am in good shape and I hope that there will be other opportunities to win a stage in this tour that takes place between Belgium and the Netherlands. Today, all the team showed that it is very motivated and we will fight till the end to try to win something."
Gutiérrez is third overall behind Nuyens, at 17 seconds back, going into today's 199-kilometre stage from Anvers to Knokke-Heist.