Sprint finishes are often chaotic, and today Alpecin-Deceuninck's Tim Merlier experienced that the hard way, as he struggled in the final sprint having lost too much energy in the fight for positioning.
“I would rather have won, huh. I was in a good position, but 400-500 meters from the finish I was still on the outside of the corner," Merlier told reporters at the end of the day. "I had to hold back a little bit and came into the wind. I also miss some punch, I think.”
“Did something go wrong in the sprint? A lot of things happen in a sprint, eh, too much to mention. But I was slowed down by an elbow twice more and lost speed," Merlier justifies. As BORA - hansgrohe nailed the leadout to perfection, others didn't have the same legs when it came to the final dash to the line.
"By the time I wanted to start, I had already wasted too much energy. Those things come into play. But Bennett also just had a good sprint," Merlier admitted. He crossed the line a solid third, but will hope for tomorrow in Breda.
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“We were exactly the only team that wanted to sprint. Well, on to tomorrow," he said regarding the work Alpecin-Deceuninck have put on during the day. "There are still plenty of opportunities," the Belgian champion concluded.