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WANTY GOBERT

Tour de France

Taco van der Hoorn only a couple of centimeters away from a stage win


Dutchman Taco van der Hoorn was only a couple of centimeters away from the victory in the fifth stage of the Tour de France, which contained 19.4 kilometer of cobbles in eleven sections between Lille and Wallers-Arenberg.

The rider of the World Team was loyal to himself by joining a successful breakaway. Initially they were six, but at the end of the last section between Hasnon and Wallers with 7 kilometer to go, there were only four leaders left. 

Those four men battled for the victory in the final kilometer. American rider Neilson Powless attacked under the red flag and was caught by Edvald Boasson Hagen with 500 meter to go, before van der Hoorn launched his sprint 300 meter before the line. He threw his bike but crossed the line a couple of centimeters behind Simon Clarke, the stage winner.

« So close to the victory. I almost won a stage in the Tour de France. It is of course a disappointment. I planned this breakaway since the parcours of this edition was revealed. I knew that there was a chance today, because the peloton would be more concerned about protecting the GC leaders then about chasing the breakaway. So I went immediately and our group of six collaborated well. We maintained a high rhythm and when our advantage was more than 3 minutes, I knew that we could make it to the finish. But I also knew that it wouldn't be easy against fast riders such as Clarke or Boasson Hagen and a duo of EF. In the final kilometer, I took advantage of the speed of Boasson Hagen to launch my sprint, which was probably a little too early. Clarke came next to me in the final meters. I had to wait several minutes for the verdict. There were only a couple of centimeters between Simon Clarke and me. But between finishing second and winning, there's a huge difference. »

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