It was a double Dutch treat at the ENECO Tour's short time trial, a 9.6km loop around the Brabant city of Breda, as Giant-Shimano's Tom Dumoulin made up for lost time (literally) with a narrow stage win and Belkin's Lars Boom finished close enough and comfortably ahead of overnight leader Zdenek Stybar to take the race lead. Boom, who narrowly missed the stage win yesterday in his hometown of Vlijmen, not far from the "Lars Boom" a/k/a the Lars Tree, an actual tree named in his honor, repeated his effort today with another not-quite-victorious-but-impressive-anyway performance. Boom finished ninth on the stage, 19 seconds down, enough to fulfill his ambition of capturing the leader's kit before leaving the Netherlands. Stybar, holding a mere 1" lead coming in, finished at +32", 13 seconds behind Boom.
Dumoulin, meanwhile, has had a couple of interesting days. Yesterday he could be seen dropping 14 seconds to the leaders after a dramatic puncture and furious solo chase back (almost) to the front, putting him 23" down overall. Today he continued his brilliant solo effort, this time to his first-ever victory on the World Tour. The 23-year-old Maastrichtenaar beat the mark set by no less a personage than 73-time World Champion Fabian Cancellara of Trek Factory Racing, turning in the second sub-11-minute ride of the day, at 10:55, two seconds ahead of the Swiss Bear.
And that's pretty much it for interesting developments. It's a short time trial. It's not that interesting.
- Tom Dumoulin, Giant-Shimano, 10:55
- Fabian Cancellara, Trek, at 0.02
- Geraint Thomas, Sky, at 0.10
- Manuel Quinziato, BMC, at 0.14
- Jesse Sergeant, Trek, at 0.15
- Lars Boom, Belkin
- Dumoulin, at 0.04
- Quinziato, s.t.
- Andriy Grivko, Astana, at 0.07
- Zdenek Stybar, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 0.12
Tomorrow We Ride... Gent-Wevelgem
OK, not quite, but the route from Koksijde to Ardooie in Belgium is all about West Flanders racing. The weather will be moderately poor, the cobbles will pop up from time to time, and the winds will make an otherwise flat course into a hard day of racing. Still, I'm not sure we can count on major action. Winds at 10mph probably aren't enough to drive the pack into echelons, and I don't see any mention of the Kemmelberg in the road book. So it'll probably be a mellow ride across the landscape, followed by three laps around Ardooie and a sprint. No matter, the following three stages will be devastatingly awesome. I can wait.