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Eneco Tour 2013

Date range:
August 12-18, 2013

August 12, Stage 1: Koksijde - Ardooie 175.3km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Susan Westemeyer

Stage one of the Eneco Tour takes us through Belgium, 173 kilometers from Koksijde to Ardooije.

  1. 14:27:26 CEST

    Welcome to our live coverage of the first stage of the ENECO Tour. We are starting out in Belgium this year.

  2. 14:29:57 CEST

    The race got underway a little less than two hours ago. Three riders got away early and built up a huge gap. Laurens De Vreese (Topsport Vlaanderen), Pieter Jacobs (Topsport Vlaanderen) and Benjamin Verraes (Accent Jobs-Wanty) had built up a lead of over eight minutes after only 50
    kilometers.

     

  3. 14:33:21 CEST

    That was too much of a gap for the sprinters, who are looking for their chance today, and so Lotto-Belisol and Argos-Shimano started leading the chase.

  4. 14:37:37 CEST

    • Argos Shimano

    Argos-Shimano is riding for John Degenkolb, who has extra incentive today. He had his church wedding over the weekend, and tweeted, “After an unforgettable weekend we are here for @EnecoTour, lets thank god that we start with a flat stage”  Congratulations to him and wife Laura!
     

  5. 103.3km remaining from 175.3km

    14:40:03 CEST

    The gap is now down to 7.13 minutes.

  6. 14:43:59 CEST

    Lotto is of course riding for Andre Greipel.

  7. 14:48:02 CEST

    Degenkolb is not the only Argos sprinter here. The team captain is actually Marcel Kittel, who won so gloriously in the Tour de France.

    Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) won his fourth stage of the Tour on the Champs Elysees

  8. 14:50:10 CEST

    De Vreese won the first intermediate sprint of the day.

  9. 14:54:11 CEST

    • Crash

    There was a crash earlier, with Borut Bozic, Tom Dumoulin and Tiziano Dall'Antonia amongst the victims. None are injured, we are happy to say.

  10. 14:58:35 CEST

    Last year's edition of the race was won by Lars Boom. He is, of course, here to defend his title.
     
    1     Lars Boom, Rabobank Cycling Team     24:51:13      
    2     Sylvain Chavanel, Omega Pharma-Quickstep     0:00:26      
    3     Niki Terpstra, Omega Pharma-Quickstep     0:00:49      
    4     Alberto Contador Velasco, Team Saxo Bank / Tinkoff Bank     0:00:55      
    5     Luke Durbridge,  Orica GreenEdge            
     

  11. 85.3km remaining from 175.3km

    15:00:31 CEST

    The gap is coming down, but slowly. It is now 6:50.

  12. 78km remaining from 175.3km

    15:02:43 CEST

    Actually it looks like the gap is dropping even faster than we thought. with 78 km to go, it is at 5:15.

  13. 15:04:49 CEST

    This is one of those interesting summer days, with bright sunshine and black clouds.

  14. 15:08:22 CEST

    Bradley Wiggins is here in the race, continuing his comeback from injury and illness. You will of course remember how he dominated the Tour of Poland time trial recently.

     

    Stage winner Bradley Wiggins (Sky)

  15. 15:10:18 CEST

    Here is another big name in the race, World Champion Philippe Gilbert of BMC. He has called for the team car, and is getting a new tyre.

  16. 71km remaining from 175.3km

    15:11:08 CEST

    Down, down, down, goes the gap -- now at 4:33.

  17. 15:11:48 CEST

    Greipel is back amongst the team cars. We don't know why, but he is moving up nicely.

  18. 15:13:36 CEST

    Gilbert now hangs on to his team car whilst the mechanic hangs out to fiddle with something on the bike. Greipel zips on by, while a Saxo-Tinkoff rider drafts a bit behind the BMC car.

  19. 15:17:58 CEST

    The newest member of the Cyclingnews staff, Jono Lovelock, took a look at this race. Check out his preview here.

  20. 61km remaining from 175.3km

    15:24:00 CEST

    And now the gap is down to 3:56.

  21. 15:27:09 CEST

    Boom would gladly repeat his win in this race, but if not, Belkin as another candidate in Wilco Kelderman. “I think Wilco and I make each other stronger. We can help each other," Boom said. Read more here.

  22. 15:32:11 CEST

    • Omega Pharma QuickStep

    Neither Tom Boonen nor Mark Cavendish is here, but Omega Pharma-Quick has still sent a big-name sprinter. Alessandro Petacchi is making his debut here for the Belgian team.
     

  23. 15:33:14 CEST

    Orica-GreenEdge's Daryl Impey picks up a bunch of bidons and stuffs them in his jersey to carry back up to his teammates.

  24. 15:36:23 CEST

    Wiggins and two teammates at the back of the field, now moving their way up.

  25. 15:39:48 CEST

    And in other news around cycling: The Tour of Britain has announced its teams, including five WorldTour teams.

  26. 45km remaining from 175.3km

    15:44:29 CEST

    OPQS now at the head of the field and putting up a fierce tempo. For one thing, the gap had crept back up to nearly four minutes, and for another, the wind has picked up. The team hoped that it could possibly drop some of its hopefully-inattentive sprint rivals.

  27. 15:45:18 CEST

    Everyone was paying attention, though, and the echeclons didn't form. The gap is down to 3:04, though.

  28. 15:50:41 CEST

    The three leaders are still doggedly working hard and co-operating beautifully, but they really don't stand a chance.

  29. 15:51:28 CEST

    Wiggins deep in conversation with teammate Bernhard Eisel.

  30. 15:55:45 CEST

    The peloton is riding through a heavily agricultural area here, fields with neat green rows, and then some rather bored-looking cows.

  31. 15:58:27 CEST

    Cycling goes to court again. The CAS will hear Riis' appeal re Contador's WorldTour points next week.

  32. 34km remaining from 175.3km

    16:00:37 CEST

    The three Belgian riders in the lead are doing a good job. The peloton is finding it hard to cut the gap, which is now at 2:34.

  33. 16:03:41 CEST

    The three leaders cross the finish line for the first time. Let's see what the gap is.

  34. 16:05:47 CEST

    Here comes the peloton, at 2:09. They aren't in a particular hurry at the moment.

  35. 16:08:35 CEST

    There are quite a number of sharp turns on this narrow road in the circuit course. Happily they are now back on the regular road.

  36. 16:11:09 CEST

    Lotto and Orica looking rather casual at the head of the field.

  37. 16:13:21 CEST

    The gap is approachiing the critical point: 25 km and 2 minutes. Time for the sprinter teams to get serious.

  38. 16:16:54 CEST

    Having said that, the peltoon apparently decided to stop fooling around. With 22km, the gap is now at 1:28.

  39. 16:17:48 CEST

    Wiggins is still at the very back of the field. He is obviously not going to go for the win today, anyway.

  40. 16:20:08 CEST

    20 km and one minute....

  41. 16:20:52 CEST

    De Vreese isn't ready to give up and takes off.

  42. 16:21:39 CEST

    All three together again, only 42 seconds ahead of the field.

  43. 16:22:22 CEST

    Orica-Greenedge firmly in control of the peloton iat the moment.

  44. 17km remaining from 175.3km

    16:24:09 CEST

    17 km to go and only a handfull of seconds....

  45. 16:25:24 CEST

    The three leaders come to the finish line again, with the peloton breathing down their necks, some 6 seconds back.

  46. 16:26:27 CEST

    The three leaders shake hands and Orica-GreenEdge smoothly leads the field right past them.

  47. 16:27:45 CEST

    The peloton snakes through the sharp turns on the agricultural lane again. Everyone stays upright.

  48. 16:28:29 CEST

    And we have echelons! No gaps, but that very distinctive shape.

  49. 16:31:09 CEST

    The Australian team is holding the pace high here, and we see a dozen or so riders dropped of the back, including Wiggins.

  50. 16:32:18 CEST

    BMC has now moved to the front of the field, but is keeping the pace equally brutal.

  51. 16:32:53 CEST

    10 km to go and Belkin moves up to the front.

  52. 16:33:31 CEST

    That was the last intermediate sprint of the day, and Boom took the points ahead of Ferrar.

  53. 16:35:05 CEST

    Greipel fairly far back in teh field, but there is still 8 km to go.

  54. 16:35:49 CEST

    Marcus Burghardt and his distinctive yellow shoes are leading the way.

  55. 16:37:17 CEST

    There are a lot of traffic islands here. Itmakes us nervous....

  56. 16:39:24 CEST

    4 km to go.

  57. 16:40:00 CEST

    And Garmin-Sharp moves up to the front, ahead of Belking.

  58. 16:40:38 CEST

    A puncture for Delage, very bad timing.

     

  59. 16:41:25 CEST

    The Wiggins group has gotten larger, and is now two minutes down.

  60. 16:42:17 CEST

    Two km to go and the field goes through a tricky seciton of curves. Renshaw jumps!

  61. 16:42:57 CEST

    And it looks like he will take it!

  62. 16:43:50 CEST

    The Belkin rider fooled the field and his sprint rivals, taking off in the last km on the corners, and wins the first stage of the Eneco Tour.

  63. 16:45:17 CEST

    That is only his second win this season. Earlier he won the Clasica de Almeria.

  64. 16:47:03 CEST

    Renshaw is leaving Belkin after this season and he will join OPQS in 2014, re-uniting with  Mark Cavendish.

  65. 16:48:15 CEST

    The Wiggins group finally comes in, at 3:50.

  66. 16:52:12 CEST

    Greipel finished second, leading the field across two seconds after Renshaw. Giacomo Nizzolo of RadioShack-Leopard was third.

  67. 16:54:46 CEST

    Our top ten on the stage:

    1    Mark Renshaw (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
    2    André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol
    3    Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack Leopard
    4    Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Lampre-Merida
    5    Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
    6    Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team
    7    Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
    8    Davide Appollonio (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
    9    Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
    10    Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team

  68. 17:04:13 CEST

    We don't yet have confirmation on the GC yet. One or more of the break riders could have picked up enough bonus seconds to play a role.

  69. 17:09:50 CEST

    And indeed, Jacobs has placed himself third in GC.

    1    Mark Renshaw (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
    2    André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol
    3    Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise

     

  70. 17:10:45 CEST

    Thanks for joining us and be sure to read along again tomorrow, as the Eneco Tour wends its way through Belgium and the Netherlands.