Coming into stage 4 of the Tour de France, a team time trial of 25km in Nice, Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto Belisol) was in a positive state of mind. The Belgian GC-rider claimed that his team would not only try to limit the losses but also try to gain time on some rivals. The outcome was probably better than expected. Only a few favourites finished slightly ahead of Van den Broeck. All other GC-riders like Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Cadel Evans (BMC), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and the three Radioshack Leopard leaders all lost time on the Belgian. After finishing twice in fourth place in the Tour de France, it's clear Van den Broeck is back on track for a good result.
"Finishing in the top-5 would be good but the podium would be better," Van den Broeck said shortly after stage 4 on the famous Promenade des Anglais which featured as finish area.
Right after crossing the line a relaxed Van den Broeck was analysing his team's performance and the circumstances. "It was really hot. At the first split we only lost four seconds on Garmin so that's great," Van den Broeck said.
Little later the Garmin Sharp team rolled across the finish line in the same time of the Lotto Belisol team. In the past the Lotto didn't perform too well against the clock but clearly things have turned around.
"Back in 2009 I was left behind so that's not a reference," Van den Broeck laughed.
The sprint train which is designed for the team's sprinter André Greipel came in handy for this team time trial too.
"Of course, with such a flat course. That was ideal. I knew before the Tour that the team was really good, also for this work, so we knew it was possible," Van den Broeck said.
Van den Broeck now stands 14th overall at 17 seconds from new race leader Simon Gerrans who won the team time trial with the Orica Greenedge team.