Two top-ten placings in yesterday's double opening stage of Holland's Ster Elektrotoer has seen Team CSC's Jens Voigt move into the race lead, displacing early leader Aart Vierhouten from Skil-Shimano. With two tough stages today (Thursday) and tomorrow, retracing much of the route from the Amstel Gold Race and Liégé-Bastogne-Liégé respectively, and still a large group of top riders within striking distance, Voigt and his team will have their work cut out for them before the race ends in Eindhoven on Saturday.
"To be honest I'm quite annoyed that I didn't manage to win the [second] stage, even though I'm leading the race now, because I worked really hard in both stages," Voigt said on team-csc.com.
"Also, Erik [Dekker] is going to be dangerous in the next couple of days, because the routes suit him so well. I was leading most of the way [in the time trial], but ended up losing with 10 seconds. I was paying the price for this morning, where I was chasing the peloton on my own for about 10 or 15 kilometres after a puncture," he explained.
But the next couple of stages suit Voigt well, said CSC directeur-sportif at the Ster Elektrotoer, Tristan Hoffman: "In Thursday's stage most of the route is the same as in Amstel Gold Race, while most of Friday's is from Liégé-Bastogne-Liégé.
"It's only natural that Jens is upset about his puncture costing him the stage. But let's see if we can't hang on to the jersey. We have four guys at the top in the overall standings, so we'll have to be aggressive and make all the breaks," said Hoffman.