Kelderman wins Tour of Denmark; Cavendish takes final stage
Working hard to protect the interests of race leader Kelderman, the Belkin squad controlled the pace throughout the day and kept the breakaway group on a short leash, which gave the group a 1:30 advantage on the peloton. What started as a five man breakaway group was reduced to just one rider with 20 kilometers to go when Lotto-Belisol's Sander Cordeel initiated an additional attack. However, Belkin's hard work paid off when Cordeel was reeled back in about 14 kilometers before the finish line.
The stage ended in a furious sprint, which was won by Mark Cavendish of Team Omega Pharma-QuickStep. Cavendish beat Bryan Coquard of Team Europcar and Garmin-Sharp's Tyler Farrar. Kelderman was crowned Tour of Denmark champion. No more than six seconds separated Kelderman from runner-up Lars Bak of Denmark and Lotto-Belisol. Team Saxo-Tinkoff were hoping to secure a desperately needed overall race victory on home turf, but none of its riders finished ahead of Matti Breschel who took the final spot on the race podium.
"I'm happy about this victory," Cavendish commented after securing the victory and added "When I came here I didn't know how my form would be after the Tour de France. I was still a bit tired, and this race — despite being mostly flat in Denmark — is hard.I really wanted to win today in Frederiksberg, because it is the third time I've won in three races here. This is almost like the Danish Champs-Élysées, so of course I am happy to close out the race with this kind of win."
"Now I am going home to spend some time with my family — I will normally be back for Tour of Britain," Cavendish explained. "It helps going to races with a team like this (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), because it's like staying with friends. It's always about commitment and I have it from these guys. When you have this kind of commitment as a sprinter you always have a chance to win."
"This is my first pro victory, so I am very happy," Tour of Denmark winner Kelderman told Roadcycling.com after being congratulated by the Danish podium girls. "I have had no time to celebrate. Maybe we can find a restaurant here at the airport. I am so happy with the victory. And even more important was the team support, which I like the most."
"It was a big surprise to win the time trial Saturday. It was a flat, short course, but I think it was my best time trial of my career. It was really surprising, and that put me in the yellow jersey," Kelderman explained and added "It's really great to win here with the new team. They controlled the race for me and protected me all day. It was nice to ride in the yellow jersey."
Commenting on Kelderman's overall victory, Team Belkin Sports Director Michiel Elijzen told Roadcycling.com "The team did an awesome job for Wilco (Kelderman) today. There was a breakaway of five guys and it was controlled from behind, so it was just what we wanted. The general classification win with Wilco was the main target today. We are so happy to have made it to the finish without crashes or punctures."
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