Martijn Keizer began Belgium’s Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen well today. The Dutch time trial specialist completed the eight-kilometre time trial over the boulevard of Middelkerke in 8-06 minutes, which resulted in a sixth place. Anton Vorobyev of Katusha was 11 seconds faster and claimed the win and the leader’s jersey.
“I’m pleased. I gave everything I had and I’m glad that it resulted in a nice top ten finish. Whether I had expected this? I’m a good time trialist and distances like this suit me, but it is always difficult to determine how strong the competition is,” Keizer said.
“There was a headwind during the first three kilometres until the turning point,” the Dutchman said. “That’s why I knew I had to start fast and win some time in the beginning. Anyone can ride 65 kilometres per hour with a tailwind.”
Keizer has two goals for the weekend. “It is important not to lose time unnecessarily, so that I can hold onto my position in the overall. In addition, I want to be of value for Tom Van Asbroeck. He has proved that he’s in a good shape and he can do well in the sprints here.”
The peloton will tackle the famous Old Kwaremont in tomorrow’s first road stage, 174 kilometres between Bruges and Harelbeke.
“Tom is our main man tomorrow,” Sports Director Frans Maassen said. “The Oude Kwaremont halfway in the stage is one of the crucial points where we – as a team – need to pay attention. If we manage to make it into the first group with a few men, including Tom, we have a good chance in the sprint.”