Jetse Bol (Belkin) put in an impressive last-ditch attack in Paris-Tours on Sunday only to be overhauled in the final 500m of the 235km race. After joining a breakaway over the Côte de l'Épan in the last 10km Bol launched a solo attack that saw him nearly steal the show.
"We were close to victory. It was a very good performance by the team today," said Belkin director Erik Dekker. "It was a wonderful finale. It's a pity Bol could not win. The guys were present in the finale, and everyone did their job. We were fighting to the end."
Bol slipped away from his breakaway companions and took advantage of the mild confusion that arose when the peloton swept up those that Bol had left behind. There was little confusion, however, in eventual winner John Degenkolb's (Argos-Shimano) post-race interview where he vented his frustration with the blocking tactics of Belkin.
"I'm disappointed in Belkin. I know they didn't want us to catch Bol they didn't do it in such a good way," Degenkolb said. "It will have consequences in the future."
As Belkin were busily trying to disrupt the chase, one of the cheekiest moves came from Lars Boom as he visibly slowed into a corner after reaching the front with 2km to go. Boom, not surprisingly, was satisfied with his actions saying he was simply helping someone who had helped him all season long.
"Bol was alone in the front, and he had a fair chance to win," explained Boom. "I was always on the first wheel, and I stopped pedalling with 2km to go into the last corner.
"That's the way to help someone who helps you all season long. It was a good performance by the team."