Discovery Channel Team Report

News & Results

08/10/2005| 0 comments
by Thomas Valentinsen

Discovery Channel Team Report

Van Heeswijk wins another stage at Tour of Benelux; McCartney in mountains jersey.

The Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team's Max van Heeswijk won his second race in the last four days when he sprinted to victory in today's fifth stage of the Tour of Benelux in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
Hasselt, Belgium.  After a quiet start to 2005 following a career best 13 wins a year ago, van Heeswijk won the opening stage of the event on Thursday and held the race lead for two stages.  Today's win was another clear victory for the Dutchman as he topped Alberto Ongarato of Fassa Bortolo to the line in the 194 kilometer event. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>


The team's Jurgen Van den Broeck finished in the same time as van Heeswijk -
- and held onto his sixth overall position in the race GC.  The young Belgian is 18 seconds back of leader Rik Verbrugghe of Quick Step with just tomorrow's 196 km flat stage and Wednesday's sure to be decisive 26.3 km time trial remaining.  The Discovery Channel team's Jason McCartney went on the offensive today and as a result now leads the mountains competition by just one point over CSC's Christian Vande Velde.


?We came here trying to win a stage and finish with two riders in the top 15," said team assistant sports manager Dirk Demol.  "As it looks now, we have two stage wins and I'm confident that if everything stays normal tomorrow, we may be able to have two guys in the top 10 following the time trial."


After Van den Broeck, a former World Junior time trial champion, in the overall is Leif Hoste , in 13th place at 40 seconds.


On Wednesday's time trial, Demol said - "In order to win, I'm afraid Jurgen just isn't strong enough at this point to really push the big gear that will be needed for such a flat time trial.  Yet, I think a top five finish for him may be possible and maybe even the podium.  And with Leif at 40 seconds, he's done some pretty good time trials in the past and he's in very good shape so you never know."


In today's stage, the final breakaway was caught with five kms remaining.  Demol then said with 1.5 kms left, Hoste and Roger Hammond did a solid job in getting van Heeswijk in position for the final sprint.  "Those guys worked hard to get him in a good spot and then he won easy," Demol said.  "Max won just the way he always wins - with a final acceleration that immediately gives him two bike lengths."


In search of points in the mountains competition, McCartney was away with Vande Velde and one other rider yesterday when controversy hit the race when the chasing field rode off the race course.  The lead trio's gap increased from six minutes to 14 minutes but they were stopped and held back by race officials in an effort to neutralize their lead and, after much confusion, the lead trio were eventually caught.


"Jason was upset over yesterday so he attacked again today," said Demol.  "It's a shame because I think they

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