Team LottoNL-Jumbo finished fifth and sixth overall in the Eneco Tour overall with Jos van Emden and Wilco Kelderman, respectively. They rounded out a successful week that included a stage win by Dylan Groenewegen. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) won the final stage to Geraardsbergen and Niki Terpstra (Etixx) took the overall win.
"A fifth place in this playing field is good, no doubt, but it sucks to only come a few seconds from the podium,” van Emden said. “I can only be satisfied with this result. This was one of the big goals for me this season."
In the rainy seventh stage, Boasson Hagen managed to beat overall winner Terpstra and Oliver Naesen (IAM). Wilco Kelderman finished seventh 47 seconds later and Jos van Emden came eighth two seconds later. In the GC, van Emden rose from sixth place. He finished with a gap of 1-03 minutes behind overall winner Terpstra. Wilco Kelderman rose from 10th, back 1-11.
"It was a tough day with lots of different situations,” van Emden added. “We were in a position that it seemed our GC was over, but along with Wilco, we fought back in to the race."
"It was different for me to only think about myself. Normally, I ride for our leaders and now, it was the other way around. That it succeeded at this level gives me confidence for years to come. "
Kelderman: ‘We succeeded’
”It was a tough day, I'm glad I didn’t go down,” Kelderman. “A large group containing the best riders attacked, and Jos and I could not follow. Then we knew we had to go full-gas on De Muur to close the gap. It succeeded. We aimed to fight for the overall, and we succeeded. It is a little disappointing that we were so close to the podium and it makes you wonder what you could have done differently.
"It is nice to ride for Jos. The whole year he rides himself empty for us. It’s good to see it the other way around.”
Kelderman also fought for the overall, but he knew that without the Ardennes stage like normal, it would be difficult to win.
"I rode a good Eneco Tour, but it was disappointing that I could not follow the best today because if so, we could’ve seen a better result."
"This result does justice to the riders,” Sports Director Merijn Zeeman said. “The team time trial ensured that Boasson Hagen could not pass us in the general classification.
"The nice thing about this result is that we fought all week as a team, the stage results show it: two men in the GC and Groenewegen beat the world’s best sprinters. Jos van Emden also notched a second place in the time trial and for the first time in years, we finished on the podium in the team time trial. As a sports director, I’m satisfied.”