Team LottoNL-Jumbo raced to fifth in the world championship time trial today in Doha, Qatar. Over 40 kilometres, the team clocked 43 minutes, 27.18 seconds -- 54 seconds slower than the winning team Etixx-Quick Step. They recorded 42-32.39.
“We are not pleased, but not so disappointment, either,” Sports Director Mathieu Heijboer said. “We knew that the spots outside the top two would be a hard-fought, but we also could’ve ended up sixth or seventh.”
“We secretly hoped for more, but I also realise that we’ve made steps ahead in this discipline.”
After 13.6km, the team of Mathieu Heijboer and Jan Boven had the fourth best time behind Etixx, BMC and Sky. At the finish, Orica was also faster. Team LottoNL-Jumbo was just less than a second from fourth place. "The difference for a podium place is a clear gap. We still need to improve.”
Jos van Emden
"The team rode a good time trial,” said cyclist Jos van Emden. “We were evenly matched and I noticed that we started to run empty at the same moment. Often there is always something to point out, but today, it went well.
"Our goal was actually the podium, and 18 seconds is a big gap. We were less than a second from Sky, but had it been less than a second from a podium place then that would have left a sour taste.” Some worried about the Middle East heat in Doha. Van Emden considered that along with what he will face in Wednesday’s individual time trial and Sunday’s road race.
"The preparations I had for the heat served me well. Normally, I have trouble in the heat, but today, I felt used to it. We have to see what it will be like for Wednesday and Sunday.”
Wilco Kelderman felt the effort following the team time trial in his muscles. However, he also believes that the team performed well in what will be his last race in LottoNL-Jumbo’s yellow and white colours.
"It's always a different kind of pain than after a road race,” he said. “You feel it in your muscles especially because you are constantly fighting in that time trial position. Especially, given the course, where we covered many straights. You are always in that same tense position fighting for every advantage.”
“We made no mistakes. We worked well together and were able to withstand the heat."
"It’s emotional to consider this is my last race with the team after such a long time and knowing everyone so well. Given the intense lead up and the race itself, I didn’t have time to really think about it until afterwards.
“I’m glad that my time with the team ended with such an event, racing as a group in a time trial. You do everything together, from the preparation to the race. It’s extra special to end this way."