Ramon Sinkledam (Giant-Shimano) won the 2nd and final stage of the World Ports Classic with Theo Bos (Belkin) 2nd and Greg Henderson (Lotto-Belisol) 3rd. Kristian Sbaragli was again the highest placed finisher for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung by sprinting into 14th place. With Bos finishing 2nd, it was enough for the Dutchman to claim the overall victory as well.
The stage was another good one for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung as Jay Thomson, our breakaway specialist, found his way into the break just as Andreas Stauff did yesterday. Thomson was accompanied by 4 other riders as they pushed out a maximum lead of 2’30”. Once the break passed through the 2nd sprint of the day, with 42km to go, Thomson would attack the break and the former South African champion would lead the race solo up until the 7km to go mark where he was eventually caught by the peloton.
While Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung did not really have a result in terms of stage placings to write home about, the team was rewarded by its aggressive style of racing with a 5th place on GC by Andreas Stauff. This GC result was courtesy of the bonus seconds Stauff picked up from the break during yesterdays stage.
Rider – Andreas Stauff
The stage started really fast and the peloton stayed together as expected. It was an incredible speed going for the sprint and I was in a good position but couldn’t pass the first riders, which was okay because it were only guys that were also higher on the GC. I think it was one of the fastest sprints of the season, we were going 70kph and it’s also one of the highest power outputs I have during the year.
Afterwards we managed to put a rider in the breakaway with Jay and the possibility to win another bonus sprint. The team did a good effort all together, but unfortunately Jay was left without a second. In the end it didn’t matter, because all of them were behind the first group. The finale was very technical with a lot of roundabouts and ‘narrowings’ were the road closes from 2 or 3 lanes to 1 lane and it was again super fast. The guys tried to put Kristian in a good position, but he was affected by a few of the many crashes in the last 5k and couldn’t take part in the sprint anymore, which is a pitty because he has a really good sprint at the moment.
I could also avoid the crashes and made it safely with the first 25 riders to the finish to secure my GC spot. It’s my best GC result in years, actually my first in the pro ranks, so I’m obviously quite happy with that. I was hoping to finish with a better GC result here than Gerald in Norway, but he moved into 5th place as well today. Anyway it feels good to finish the tour like this and now we can look ahead to Bayern.
Final Stage Results
World Ports Classic (Netherlands) – (24-25 May/UCI 2.1) Team Lineup
Staff: Michel Cornelisse (Directeur Sportif), Jens Zemke (Directeur Sportif), Bastian Buffel (Soigneur), Yvonne Houweling (Soigneur), Heiko Heinrici (Mechanic), Werrner Lenk (Mechanic)