Eneco Tour 2015

August 10-16, 2015, Bolsward, Netherlands/Belgium, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Barry Ryan

Live coverage of stage 5 of the Eneco Tour, 179.6 kilometres across the Belgian-Dutch border from Riemst to Sittard-Geleen.

  1. 75km remaining from 179.6km

    14:53:03 CEST

    As we pick up the action after a little over 100 kilometres of racing, early escapees Johan Le Bon (FDJ) and Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Garmin) are up the road with a lead of 5:10 over the peloton.

  2. 14:59:01 CEST

    There are no fewer than 23 climbs on the menu this afternoon as the Eneco Tour winds its way through Limburg in what has all the feel of a miniature Amstel Gold Race. The climbs of Windraak, Kollenberg, Sittarderweg and Weg langs Stammen all feature in the finishing circuit, which is to be tackled twice, and for good measure, the race will loop around a third ascent of the Windraak just before the finish.

  3. 70km remaining from 179.6km

    15:00:06 CEST

    Le Bon and Van Baarle are on the thirteenth of the day's climbs, the Fromberg, with a lead of 4:55 on the main peloton.

  4. 15:03:15 CEST

    Van Baarle began the day 29 seconds down on Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) and he holds the virtual overall lead. The general classification picture was as follows after yesterday's time trial:

    1 Jos Van Emden (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 12:30:09
    2 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:00:05
    3 Adriano Malori (Ita) Movistar Team 0:00:07
    4 Lars Boom (Ned) Astana Pro Team
    5 Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling 0:00:11
    6 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:14
    7 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:16
    8 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:18
    9 Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica GreenEdge 0:00:21
    10 Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo

  5. 65km remaining from 179.6km

    15:06:50 CEST

    • Team LottoNL-Jumbo 2015 team jersey

    For Van Emden, yesterday's time trial victory was his the first WorldTour win of his career, and he said afterwards that his LottoNL-Jumbo squad was likely to ride for Wilco Kelderman on today's stage.

  6. 15:09:02 CEST

    The former junior world champion Johan Le Bon (FDJ) has shown flashes of his talent in the cobbled classics over the past two seasons, and the Breton tends to base himself near Ghent for much of the spring in order to better acquaint himself with the cobbles. The short, sharp hills of Limburg suit him a little less, but he has been generous in his efforts thus far.

  7. 61km remaining from 179.6km

    15:10:11 CEST

    Lotto-JumboNL are lined up on the front of the peloton, with Maarten Tjallingii very prominent. There is a decent delegation from Etixx-QuickStep up there too. 4:30 is the gap to the two leaders.

  8. 15:12:51 CEST

    Today's Golden Kilometre comes a little earlier than usual today, with 35 kilometres remaining, or midway through the first lap of the finishing circuit. It comes Kollenberg-Sittarderweg combination, and ought to favour the puncheurs rather than the fast men.

  9. 54km remaining from 179.6km

    15:18:26 CEST

    LottoNL-Jumbo remain on the front of the peloton but plenty of other teams are beginning to marshal their men into position on the fast approach to the climb of Sweikhuizerberg, which signals the beginning of the stage's endgame. The break's lead is down to a shade over four minutes.

  10. 15:20:34 CEST

    The escapees Le Bon and Van Baarle continue to share the pace-making duties on the Sweikhuizerberg. It will be interesting to see how long that unity remains intact as the terrain grows ever more rugged in the finale.

  11. 15:23:00 CEST

    There is no sign of BMC at the business end of affairs just yet, but the squad has two very viable options for final overall victory in the shape of Greg Van Avermaet and Philippe Gilbert, who both limited their losses very well indeed in yesterday's team time trial. The apparent frenemies have actually dovetailed their efforts relatively well in recent years - see Gilbert's turn in support of Van Avermaet at last year's Worlds - and it will be interesting to see how they approach this tough final three days to the Eneco Tour.

  12. 51km remaining from 179.6km

    15:24:19 CEST

    • Tinkoff-Saxo 2015 team jersey

    And so it begins. Christopher Juul Jensen (Tinkoff-Saxo) attacks from the peloton on the Sweikhuizerberg. The Dane opens a small gap and evne though no reinforcements seem forthcoming, he decides to press on alone.

  13. 50km remaining from 179.6km

    15:25:37 CEST

    Stijn Vandenbergh (Etixx-QuickStep) has taken over at the head of the peloton over the top of the climb, but the Belgian is happy to set a steady tempo rather than shut down Juul Jensen's move immediately.

  14. 48km remaining from 179.6km

    15:28:05 CEST

    Out front, meanwhile, Le Bon and Van Baarle are on the first of three ascents of the day's final climb, the Windraak. They will cross the finish line for the first time with 44 kilometres to go.

  15. 48km remaining from 179.6km

    15:28:07 CEST

    Out front, meanwhile, Le Bon and Van Baarle are on the first of three ascents of the day's final climb, the Windraak. They will cross the finish line for the first time with 44 kilometres to go.

  16. 15:29:51 CEST

    Etixx-QuickStep and LottoNL-Jumbo continue to share the burden at the head of the peloton. Julian Alaphillippe, so impressive in the Ardennes Classics this year, is among the favourites for stage victory this afternoon.

  17. 45km remaining from 179.6km

    15:31:14 CEST

    We've had no sight of Christopher Juul Jensen since his attack, but it seems that the Dane is dangling just ahead of the peloton.

  18. 44km remaining from 179.6km

    15:33:13 CEST

    Van Baarle and Le Bon cross the finish line in Sittard for the first time with a lead of around 3:36 over the bunch. The climb of the Kollenberg is next up for the two leaders.

  19. 15:34:46 CEST

    Christopher Juul Jensen crosses the finish line for the first time some 3:13 down on the two escapees. The bunch follows just 20 seconds behind the Dane.

  20. 15:35:59 CEST

    Van Baarle and Le Bon tackle the Kollenberg. The Dutchman gives the impression of being slightly fresher on the climbs, but their collaboration remains solid.

  21. 37km remaining from 179.6km

    15:42:30 CEST

    Christopher Juul Jensen's lone effort peters out as the pace ratchets up in the peloton ahead of the Golden Kilometre. Etixx-QuickStep will be keen to set up Julian Alaphillippe for the trio of sprints, though Van Baarle and Le Bon, with 3:26 in hand, will mop up all of the 3- and 2-second bonuses.

  22. 36km remaining from 179.6km

    15:43:55 CEST

    Some leaden drops of rain are beginning to fall on a Limburg afternoon that feels rather more like April than August.

  23. 35km remaining from 179.6km

    15:44:47 CEST

    The rain begins to fall more persistently as Le Bon and Van Baarle approach the first of the trio of bonus sprint in the Golden Kilometre.

  24. 34km remaining from 179.6km

    15:46:10 CEST

    Le Bon leads through the first bonus sprint then allows Van Baarle through to take the spoils in the second. With 3:21 in hand on the peloton, they have eyes on stage victory rather than squabbling over bonus seconds here.

  25. 15:46:58 CEST

    Van Baarle leads Le Bon uncontested through the third bonus sprint. Sensible riding from the leading pair, who are slowly starting to believe that they can defy the odds here.

  26. 15:48:35 CEST

    Philippe Gilbert (BMC) jumps out of the peloton in search of the remaining bonus seconds on offer in the Golden Kilometre.

  27. 15:49:48 CEST

    Gilbert picks up the first two one-second time bonuses in the Gold Kilometre, while Greg Van Avermaet bridges across in support.

  28. 31.5km remaining from 179.6km

    15:51:43 CEST

    Gilbert and Van Avermaet are brought to heel as the peloton emerges from the Golden Kilometre, though they remain placed near the front in search of opportunities.

  29. 15:52:35 CEST

    The steady rainfall has turned into a fully-fledged thunderstorm, which risks provoking chaos in the peloton. Vandenbergh overshoots a corner but manages to put a foot down and avoid falling.

  30. 30.5km remaining from 179.6km

    15:53:25 CEST

    Astana are looking to take advantage of the conditions and force the issue, but overall leader Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) is careful to track their efforts.

  31. 30km remaining from 179.6km

    15:54:33 CEST

    The two escapees have 3:11 in hand on the peloton as they enter the final 30 kilometres of racing. Van Avermaet, incidentally, picked up the remaining one-second bonus on offer at the third Golden Kilometre sprint.

  32. 15:56:02 CEST

    Edward Theuns (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) attacks from the peloton on the climb of Sittarderweg. The conditions remain thoroughly miserable in Limburg.

  33. 28km remaining from 179.6km

    15:57:07 CEST

    • BMC Racing 2015 team jersey

    BMC take up the reins at the head of the bunch in pursuit of Theuns - and in pursuit of Van Baarle and Le Bon, our two leaders. The gap is still 3:02 with 28 kilometres and five punchy climbs remaining.

  34. 27km remaining from 179.6km

    15:58:49 CEST

    Theuns is swept up by the peloton, which continues to trail Van Baarle and Le Bon by almost three minutes. Their pursuit lack cohesion for now.

  35. 16:00:13 CEST

    The peloton is strung out in a long line on these narrow, rain-soaked roads. BMC's pursuit is finally beginning to make some inroads into Van Baarle and Le Bon's lead.

  36. 25km remaining from 179.6km

    16:02:57 CEST

    The bunch tackles the climb of Windraak for the penultimate time, while the two leaders approach the bell for the start of the final lap of the finishing circuit.

  37. 24km remaining from 179.6km

    16:04:29 CEST

    In driving rain, Van Baarle leads Le Bon through the finish line in Sittard. BMC continue to lead the chase in the bunch, with delegates from LottoNL-Jumbo, BMC and Astana all well-placed but not committing just yet.

  38. 16:06:35 CEST

    A severely reduced peloton takes the bell with a deficit of 2:10 on the two escapees. That last ascent of the Windraak seems to have split the bunch into three groups, with around 40 riders at the front.

  39. 16:10:22 CEST

    Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) takes over on the front of the reduced peloton in support of his teammate Tiesj Benoot. The German's long turn strings out the group once again.

  40. 20km remaining from 179.6km

    16:11:49 CEST

    After Loic Vliegen's lengthy solo effort for BMC, there seems to be a greater coalition of chasers in the peloton now, with Lotto-Soudal contributing. The break's lead hovers below the two-minute mark as the race enters the final 20 kilometres.

  41. 16:13:12 CEST

    The rain falls ever heavier as Van Baarle and Le Bon plough on at the head of the race. We no longer have time gaps readily available, but with team cars being ordered away from the behind the break, it seems as if the bunch is closing to around the one-minute mark.

  42. 16.5km remaining from 179.6km

    16:14:41 CEST

    Lars Petter Nordhaug (Sky) comes to the front of the bunch on the uncategorised climb of Watersley. There are three more punchy ascents to come before the finish. The break's lead stands at 1:20.

  43. 15km remaining from 179.6km

    16:15:33 CEST

    Le Bon leads Van Baarle over the Sittarderweg. They know it's touch and go whether they can hold on here.

  44. 16:16:27 CEST

    • Astana 2015 team jersey

    Lars Boom jumps out of the peloton seemingly in lone pursuit, but he desists after 300 metres and half raises an arm in complaint at an apparent lack of collaboration in the peloton.

  45. 16:17:13 CEST

    Meanwhile, Boom's teammate Alexey Lutsenko - winner of the under-23 Worlds in nearby Valkenburg in 2012 - punctures and loses all hopes of a stage win this afternoon.

  46. 14km remaining from 179.6km

    16:17:58 CEST

    The sun pokes its way through the clouds even though the hard rain continues to fall. BMC take over at the head of the bunch, 1:15 down on the two escapees.

  47. 16:19:17 CEST

    Manuel Quinziato (BMC) sits on the front of the bunch and turns to ask for some help from the other represented teams. The chase effort is at a critical juncture here. Some decisions need to be taken very, very quickly, otherwise the escapees could pull off an improbable exploit.

  48. 12.5km remaining from 179.6km

    16:19:50 CEST

    After a period of deliberation, Quinziato puts his shoulder to the wheel once again and ups the pace at the head of the bunch.

  49. 16:20:50 CEST

    BMC seem to have precious little by way of support in this chasing group. LottoNL-Jumbo have numbers in here, including overall leader Jos van Emden, but they are not contributing to the chase.

  50. 11km remaining from 179.6km

    16:23:18 CEST

    Le Bon comes perilously close to sliding out on a slippery right-hand bend, but he managed to stay upright. A cautious Van Baarle catches up to him when the road flattens out and comes through to take a turn. They still have 1:07 in hand on the bunch.

  51. 9km remaining from 179.6km

    16:24:34 CEST

    Van Baarle and Le Bon stretch their lead out to 1:09 as they begin the ascent of Weg langs Stammen.
     

  52. 16:25:23 CEST

    Andre Greipel, remarkably given the punchy terrain, is the man now giving lone pursuit to the two leaders. The German opens a small gap on the disparate chasing group on the Weg langs Stammen.
     

  53. 7.5km remaining from 179.6km

    16:26:57 CEST

    Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) and Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) bridge across to Greipel and they are in a five-man group that is chasing some 55 seconds down on the two leaders.

  54. 6.5km remaining from 179.6km

    16:27:37 CEST

    Greipel performs the bulk of the work in the chasing group. His mammoth effort has reduced the gap to just 43 seconds.

  55. 16:28:43 CEST

    Wellens come through and putsin a turn on the front. Georg Preidler (Giant-Alpecin) is also in this group, but both he and Kelderman refuse to do a turn to help the Lotto-Soudal pair.

  56. 5km remaining from 179.6km

    16:29:30 CEST

    The five-man chase group finally begins to collaborate, but it might be too little, too late. They are still 38 seconds down on Van Baarle and Le Bon.

  57. 4km remaining from 179.6km

    16:30:31 CEST

    Le Bon and Van Baarle attack the final climb, the Windraak, with 35 seconds in hand on the chasers.

  58. 16:31:13 CEST

    Kelderman takes over at the front of the chasing group. His turn on the climb reduces the break's lead to just 25 seconds.

  59. 3km remaining from 179.6km

    16:32:09 CEST

    Van Baarle and Le Bon remain together in front after the final climb, with 21 seconds in hand on the five-man chase group. They must be aware by now that Greipel is leading the pursuit.

  60. 2.5km remaining from 179.6km

    16:33:21 CEST

    Preidler, Magnus Cort (Orica-GreenEdge), Kelderman, Wellens and Greipel are just 17 seconds down on the escapees.

  61. 2km remaining from 179.6km

    16:34:13 CEST

    Le Bon attacks Van Baarle with a shade over two kilometres left to race. The Frenchman almost crashes into the television motorbike as he dives for its slipstream, but he has done enough to open a small lead over Van Baarle.

  62. 1km remaining from 179.6km

    16:34:41 CEST

    Van Baarle claws his way almost up to Le Bon as they approach the flamme rouge...

  63. 16:35:13 CEST

    Greipel drives the chasing group, dropping Preidler, but it's surely too late.

  64. 16:35:42 CEST

    Van Baarle can't quite latch onto Le Bon's wheel as they enter the finishing straight and begin to sprint for the line.

  65. 16:36:13 CEST

    Johan Le Bon (FDJ) wins stage 5 of the Eneco Tour, just ahead of Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Garmin).

  66. 16:37:32 CEST

    Kelderman was in the chasing group just a handful of seconds behind, and it appears that the Dutchman will take the leader's jersey from his LottoNL-Jumbo teammate Jos van Emden.

  67. 16:38:59 CEST

    Magnus Cort (Orica-GreenEdge) took third place on the stage, nine seconds back. He was just ahead of Wellens, Kelderman and Greipel. Preidler came in at 15 seconds.

  68. 16:40:08 CEST

    Result:

    1 Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ.fr 4:13:50
    2 Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
    3 Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica GreenEdge 00:00:09
    4 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
    5 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
    6 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 00:00:11
    7 Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Giant-Alpecin 00:00:15
    8 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal 00:00:27
    9 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team
    10 Lars Boom (Ned) Astana Pro Team
     

  69. 16:41:49 CEST

    General classification after stage 5:

    1 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 16:44:13
    2 Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:01
    3 Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:00:08
    4 Jos Van Emden (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:00:13
    5 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:19
    6 Lars Boom (Ned) Astana Pro Team 0:00:20
    7 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:26
    8 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:29
    9 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:29
    10 Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:34

  70. 16:44:52 CEST

    Thanks for joining our live coverage of the Eneco Tour this afternoon. A full report, results and pictures will follow here, and we'll back with more live coverage from the weekend's grand finale.

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