Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider Moreno Hofland placed third in Putte-Kapellen today. Team-mate Mike Teunissen joined the leading group and lasted until the final, which saw Belgian Roy Jans (Wanty) beat Timothy Dupont (Willems Verandas) and Moreno Hofland in a sprint.
"It's nice to end the season with a podium spot,” Hofland said. “In Paris-Tours, I was not able to sprint because I felt sick. I recovered nicely. I had to wait and see how I felt. I was not at my top level, but I was fortunate to sprint.”
The course covered 11 laps or 189 kilometres. A massive group of riders crashed at 20 kilometres remaining and the peloton broke into pieces. "I was right there, when suddenly riders braked and crashed in front of me. Also behind me, they fell. I was lucky."
Zhi Hui Jiang
After the crash, Hofland and Zhi Hui Jiang were the only LottoNL-Jumbo riders in the first group. “Jiang rode well for me and showed to be strong, so we were able to sprint for the win,” Hofland added.
“The final was chaotic with a number of sprinters, but also riders who still wanted to attack. It made it difficult to prepare for the sprint. I kept a watch on the top men, but arrived too soon in front."
"Zhi Hui Jiang showed that he has become stronger,” said Sports Director Addy Engels. The crash proved decisive in the outcome. “He was in the right position in the first group when the crash happened. The crash split the peloton and we lost a number of key men for the sprint train.
"We thought to ride aggressively and keep Moreno on hand. It’s always wait and see if we are able to sprint or not, depending on which teams go clear in the break. It was not like in Paris-Tours with many sprinters’ teams.
“The race went fast. The riders must have been thinking, just one more race and our season is over.”