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Cycling | 8 augustus 2017

Lobato fifth in prologue Tour de l'Ain

Team LottoNL-Jumbo started the Tour de l'Ain with a fifth place for Juan Lobato in the 3.8 kilometer long prologue. The Spaniard finished only four seconds behind French winner Johan Le Bon (4:32).

Through the streets of Bourg-en-Bresse the riders were hunting for the first stage victory in the Rhône-Alpes. Sports director Frans Maassen had hoped for more. "The boys did what they could. A time trial never lies and it was difficult to estimate how their chances would be in comparison to the other teams. Lobato gave everything he had. He became fifth, so that's the best he could do."

Lobato himself was also quite surprised with his high ranking: "It went well today, but it could have been better. The last one and a half kilometre I lost speed. The fact that I became fifth surprised me too. I feel good and I like the upcoming stages. Especially the stages of Wednesday and Thursday suit me well."

The team is not only racing for high rankings or stage wins, they also want to verify the shape of Stef Clement and Steven Kruijswijk regarding the Vuelta. Maassen: "With only six riders in the team, the last two days will be very heavy. That's when we can measure the shape of those men.”