ORICA-GreenEDGE won the Eneco Tour stage two team time trial in Sittard. Covering the 18.9 kilometer course in 21:08, the Australian team beat Omega Pharma-QuickStep by less than a second to move Jens Keukeleire into the race leader's jersey. It is the second WorldTour team time trial victory for ORICA-GreenEDGE, who also won the team discipline at Tirreno Adriatico.
"I knew we had a chance for the win," said Sports Director Laurenzo Lapage. "The time gaps between the top teams can often be small, and it comes down to every little detail. I said yesterday we were looking for a top three finish. It's never good to come into the team time trial too confident."
ORICA-GreenEDGE won the Eneco Tour stage two team time trial. Photo Credit : Graham Watson
Aidis Kruopis started stage two in fourth place, tied for time with Taylor Phinney (BMC). Having earned bonus seconds on the intermediate sprint yesterday, Kruopis was well-poised to move into the leader's jersey until he lost contact with the team due to a flat tire.
"The flat tire is obviously not something we can control," said Lapage. "What we can control is how we react to what happens. The team kept everything together even after Aidis was gone, and this helped us win today."
ORICA-GreenEDGE finished with five riders. Sebastian Langeveld, Svein Tuft, Luke Durbridge, Jens Mouris and Keukeleire powered across the line together
"Finishing a team time trial with a complete team is never a good sign," said Lapage. "Leigh Howard and Fumy Beppu did a great job before getting dropped."
Jens Keukeleire wears the leader's jersey. Photo Credit : Graham Watson
"We never thought about who would take the leader's jersey," Lapage added. "Who has the jersey isn't important. The team win was the important thing. Normally, Aidis would have taken it, but after the mechanical problem, anyone who got to the finish had a chance."
Lapage believes the team can hold onto the jersey throughout the week.
"It now becomes important that we arrive at the time trial on Saturday with a number of riders in contention," said Lapage. "If we do that, everything is possible."