Things still aren’t going Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s way. The team was again unable to get its train on the right track. But Andrew Fenn did manage to finish fifth. Zdenek did his work and crossed the line in 57th.
“It was another difficult stage,” he said afterwards. “We tried to form echelons a number of times, but it didn’t work as we had hoped. It’s a pity, but we tried. Iljo Keisse was pulling at the front of the peloton all day to bring back the break.”
And he was successful. “Iljo is putting in a very strong performance here. We took the initiative in the last 60 kilometers to chase down the break. We thought we could set up Andrew and Gert Steegmans for the sprint, but it all went wrong in the last kilometer. We did our best.”
At the end of the 163 kilometer stage, André Greipel was again the fastest and won for the third day in a row. The German finished ahead of Danilo Napolitano. Zdenek finished in 57th and is 30 seconds behind in the general classification. The next stage is a 20 kilometer individual time trial to Arendonk.
“I’m curious to see if I’ve improved on the time trial bike since last year,” Styby said. The team has the top favorite to win the time trial with Tony Martin. The German is the reigning world champion in this discipline.