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by Shane Stokes
January 24, 2018
Villalobos wins stage 2, takes race lead at Vuelta a San Juan; Benoot pleased with unexpected third place; Impressive lineup announced for Abu Dhabi Tour; Abu Dhabi route details unveiled; KordaMentha Real Estate – Australian national teams announced for Cadel Evans Great Road Race; INRNG on Armstrong’s lifetime ban and the Tour of Flanders; Ovett signs for Australian Cycling Academy; Strava expands with new office in Denver; Video: Abu Dhabi Tour 2018 – Official promo; Video: Abu Dhabi Tour 2018 – The jerseys
Beginning his season in Argentina and building towards the one day Classics, Tiesj Benoot got an early confidence boost with his strong ride on stage two of the Vuelta a San Juan. The Lotto-Soudal rider admitted t that he was surprised with his third place, particularly because of his sensations earlier.
“Before the stage I had never thought to be able to set such a result, because in the morning and at the beginning of the stage I didn’t feel well,” he said. “Probably due to the heat the day before.”
He said that he felt much better in the finale, prompting Lotto-Soudal to ride aggressively. “With about twenty kilometres to go, Jelle Wallays was part of a break with five others,” he continued. “After they had been caught a few kilometres further, Jelle and Nikolas Maes kept the rest of our team at the front. It was our plan that I would attack at the top of the last hill. Jens Keukeleire and Tosh Van der Sande would wait for the sprint.
“After my acceleration I never had the feeling to be able to take a breath for a moment and the peloton was not far behind. I started my sprint a bit too early and with a too big gear. My two companions were very strong and so I got third. Still, I have a good feeling.”
He is now six seconds off the stage winner and race leader Roman Villalobos (Canel’s-Specialized), and said that he plans to take the rest of the week ‘day by day.’