The Eneco Tour through the lens of Kristof Ramon
The seven-stage Eneco Tour finished last night in Geraardsbergen with Czech rider Zdenek Stybar taking the overall honours. Photographer Kristof Ramon was in Belgium to cover the race and he sent back some fantastic shots for us to share with you all.
Australia’s Mark Renshaw (Blanco) started the race in style, winning the first stage after surprising the other sprinters with a solo attack in the final 2km of the stage. On stage 2 Arnaud Demare (FDJ.com) won an uphill sprint into Brussels and slipped into the leader’s jersey for his troubles.
Overall winner Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) had his first taste of glory on stage 3 when he took the win from a small group that surprised the peloton with an attack inside the final kilometres, much like Renshaw had done two days earlier.
Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) got his name on the winners’ list after taking out the stage 4 bunch sprint into Vlijmen. Defending champion Lars Boom (Belkin) finished third on the stage and found himself in the overall lead as a result.
On stage 5 the riders took on a 13km ITT and while Bradley Wiggins (Sky) was seen as the likely winner (after he won the Tour of Poland ITT a week earlier) it was Sylvain Chavanel that came up trumps. Lars Boom’s 10th place was enough to keep the Dutchman in the overall lead for another stage.
Stage 6 featured 11 climbs of note and it was Spaniard David Lopez (Sky) who won from a breakaway while Stybar was just two seconds behind in second place. With Boom losing 2:19 to the leaders, Tom Domoulin (Argos-Shimano) took over the lead in the general classification, just nine seconds ahead of Stybar.
And on the seventh and final stage Stybar attacked from the peloton on the Denderoordberg climb with about 6km to go, bridging to Ian Stannard (Sky) who’d been part of an earlier break. The two worked together before Stybar attacked on the final climb of the day, the Muur, taking his second stage win of the race and clinching the Eneco Tour overall.
Of course Stybar is no stranger to success on the world stage. He won the world cyclocross championships in 2010 and 2011, a stage at the Tour of Poland last year and was part of a team time trial victory with OPQS at Tirreno-Adriatico earlier this season.
But perhaps Stybar’s most memorable moment of 2013 came in Paris-Roubaix when he was in a winning position before he clipped a spectator and lost contact with Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard), who would go on to win, and Sep Vanmarcke (then Blanco), who finished second.
We hope you enjoy Kristof Ramon’s photos of the race as much as we enjoyed picking them.
Follow the link for the final results from the 2013 Eneco Tour.
And this is how it all ended for Kristof: