Team LottoNL-Jumbo took on the Amstel Gold Race on home turf today with both Lars Boom and Bert-Jan Lindeman on the attack, and Juan José Lobato and Paul Martens taking top 20 spots.
Lobato placed 11th and Martens 20th behind the day’s winner Philippe Gilbert.
"The plan was to be there after 220 kilometres, and I’m happy I was successful," Lindeman said after riding up the Kruisberg with the best.
"It's nice that I could do something at that time. It's just a pity I could not stay in the front on the Keutenberg. We race to place as high as possible, so I’m disappointed not to finish in the front. "
With 50 kilometres to go, ahead of the Kruisberg, the group pulled in the early move with Lars Boom. Lindeman escaped with eventual winner Gilbert. However, on the Keutenberg, he could not follow.
"It was hectic,” continued Lindeman. "I was good and found space. I turned to start the climb in the first four. It’s logical that I couldn’t follow Gilbert, but of course, I had the hope to stay in the front. My ambition is to improve in those situations.”
Boom enjoyed a “very nice” day racing in front on home roads. He spent the day in a group of 12. They gained over seven minutes and appeared to be heading for the win.
"It was a great day to be in the break,” said Boom. “It was our intention to get in the front in order to support Paul, Juanjo and Bert-Jan.
"When the peloton began pulling, our lead was smashed and I tried to save some energy. When they brought me back, I switched to help and managed to keep Lindeman and Martens alive. "
‘We were well in the race’
"We fought and we gave everything today," said Sports Director Frans Maassen. "We did everything well, but we couldn’t stay in the front on the Keutenberg. Until the last 100 metres on the Keutenberg, we were well in the race."
The team achieved most goals, however. If an escape of eight or moved free, it needed to be there – it was with Boom. And Lindeman attacked afterwards.
“And on the Kruisberg, we had to be ahead and we achieved that with Boom and Lindeman. When I saw Lindeman attacking, I was sure it would be a nice final. If he could’ve stayed in the front the last 100 metres then we would’ve fought for victory. On Wednesday, he placed fifth in the Brabantse Pijl. This is one step higher and these are the steps we need to make. "