PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM
The relatively unknown Rabobank rider Thorwald Veneberg took not only his biggest but also his first ever victory in his fifth year as a pro when he outsprinted Ag2r's Tomas Vaitkus in a two-man sprint at the GP Scheldeprijs, writes Susanne Horsdal.
"In the last 100 kilometres I only thought about one thing: how to win the sprint," said the 27 year old, who left the work to the Lithuanian over the last two kilometres.
In windy and rainy conditions, Vaitkus had broken away after only 57 of the 200-kilometre race, and Veneburg had quickly joined him. The pair built a gap on the peloton while everybody waited for the two big teams, Quick Step and Davitamon-Lotto, to react. But that never happened.
Instead Veneberg and Vaitkus increased their gap to more than 15 minutes, an advantage that effectively decided the race. At the finish, the two leaders were 4-39 ahead of Domina Vacanze's Simone Cadamuro, and a further two seconds ahead of Tom Boonen, who was fourth.
Veneberg later admitted he had a strange premonition about the victory. "On the eve of the Tour of the Basque Country I woke up having had a dream in which I won a race in a sprint. I even had the feeling of having won a race. I must admit I thought about that today," said Veneberg, a classic domestique, who only got his contract with Rabobank renewed last year after riding well in the Tour of Spain.
1 Thorwald Veneberg (Hol) Rabobank 202km in 4.29.54 (44.91kph)
2 Tomas Vaitkus (Lit) Ag2r Prvoyance
3 Simone Cadamuro (Ita) Domina Vacanze 4.39
4 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step 4.43
5 Nico Eeckhout (Bel) Chocolade Jacques 4.47
6 Steffen Radochla (Ger) Wiesenhof
7 Henk Vogels (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto
8 Jurgen van Loocke (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
9 Jukka Vastaranta (Fin) Rabobank 4.52
10 Jaroslav Zarebski (Pol) Action
- Alessandro Petacchi maintained his winning form on the opening stage of the Tour of Aragon when he led in Allan Davis and Isaac Galvez in Valderrobres.
1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 168km in 3.58.48 (42.21kph)
2 Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros
3 Isaac Galvez (Spa) Illes Balears
4 David Fernandez (Spa) Andalucia-Paul Versan
5 Ion Del Rio (Spa) Andalucia-Paul Versan
6 Matej Mugerli (Slo) Liquigas-Bianchi 0.03
7 Josep Jufre (Spa) Relax-Fuenlabrada
8 Nicolas Inaudi (Fra) Cofidis
9 Marco Velo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
10 Ricardo Serrano (Spa) Kaiku