Eneco Tour (finale)
Sensational breakaway by Jasha: fights for Eneco Tour overall podium until last 6km. Izagirre finishes 9th in hellish showdown and keeps Movistar Team with a solid lead in the WorldTour ranking, 70 points ahead before Lombardia decides fate next Saturday
It was a day of hope and happiness for the Movistar Team at the end of the Eneco Tour. Both feelings were provoked by a sensational Jasha Sütterlin, who made the Spanish outfit dream of a GC podium finish up until the end of a spectacular stage seven in the Flemish Ardennes. The 198km course between Bornem and Geraardsbergen, featuring 14 hills -most of them on cobblestones- and the rain-soaked ascents through the Bosberg, the Denderoordberg and the mythical Kapelmuur, offered a brilliant day of cycling, which the Movistar Team was a protagonist of.
The early, long break by Winner Anacona, caught with 50km to go after the second climb of the ‘Muur’, was quickly continued by Jasha, who entered an eight-man attempt later reduced to four elements following the third ascent to Grammont. Naesen (IAM), Boasson Hagen (DDD) and Terpstra (EQS) ‘tortured’ the German youngster, putting all his heart on the flat sections as he struggled on the climbs, ultimately losing contact into the last passage of the Denderoordberg just 6km from the end. Behind battled the Izagirre brothers, joined until the last ‘Muur’ passage by Erviti; Ion offered the Blues the best result of the day, with a 9th place that set him in 8th place in the final GC. Jasha was 11th in the race, after being chased down and dropped back by the group led by Peter Sagan (TNK).
The rainbow jersey’s third place overall, behind Terpstra and Naesen, allows him overtaking Nairo Quintana in the individual UCI WorldTour standings (669 vs 609), while the team ranking gets closer yet not really close between Tinkoff and the Movistar Team, still keeping 70 points (1431 vs 1361) with only one event to go, Il Lombardia (Saturday 1 October). At the ‘Foglie Morte’, giving away 100 points to its winner, the squad managed by Eusebio Unzué will chase a fourth consecutive sucess in the ranking.
Jasha Sütterlin: "Today’s stage was like Flanders or Roubaix, and it felt like really important for me to finish on the top today in view for the future, so I’m really happy. I hope next year to come again and chase the big result I came so close to today. I got into a good position into the serious moves during the final 50km; fought against Terpstra, Jungels, Boasson Hagen… and tried to finish into the top ten, even after I saw that I was dropped in the last climb, but in those final kilometers, I was really feeling dead tired. In the future, I will work hard to improve my condition in such races and maybe close in on podiums in Flanders or Roubaix. That’s one of my main goals as a pro, and today gave me a feeling like I might be able to make it true in the upcoming years."