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Cycling | 17 februari 2018

Floris de Tier fifth on uphill finish in Ruta del Sol

Floris de Tier has finished fifth in the fourth stage of the Ruta del Sol which finished on the Mur of Alcala de los Guzales. The 26-year-old Belgian, who started his second season with Team LottoNL-Jumbo this year, finished just in front of his teammate and captain Steven Kruijswijk. Due to his seventh place, Kruijswijk now occupies the same position overall. Tomorrow is the final stage, a time trial of 14,2 kilometres in Barbate.

Today’s stage was 192,2 kilometres long, contained a few tough climbs along the way, but above all it was a very fast stage with an average of almost 50 kilometres during the first hour.

Sports-director Addy Engels was surprised with De Tier’s result. “I knew he was good but I didn’t expect that he could do this on an uphill finish. Fifth is really ‘close’ and Steven also finished in front.”

Engels continued: “The intention for this stage was to improve Steven’s position in the overall standings and to go for the stage win with Battaglin. Unfortunately, the last didn’t work out. It was a very tough and fast stage and an aggressive race from the start. It was also going really fast due the wind. At a certain moment, only 20 riders where left in the main bunch with Steven, Stef (Clement) and Floris. A bit later, Enrico joined the group. This proved me that the entire team are on a good level this early in the season already. It was a fight until the last hill. Floris and Steven started the ascend of the hill in front and managed to stay there.”

For tomorrow, Engels expects a good time trial from Kruijswijk. “Stevie is in a good shape and it is a course that should suit him. Also, Stef should be able to get a good result here. For now, I can look back at today’s race with a very positive feeling.”

Floris de Tier was pleasantly surprised with his result. “I didn’t really expect this. My preparation was far from ideal due to a knee injury which kept me sidelined for 2,5 weeks. My condition is not yet as good as I want it to be, so I didn’t really expect to achieve a result like today’s already. Normally, a finish like today suits me, so this is promising for the rest of the season. Tomorrow, I will go full throttle in the time trial to defend my position in the overall classification if my legs will have recovered from today’s efforts.”

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