April 5, 2009

Director’s report from Johnny Weltz

This is the biggest sports event in Belgium, the Ronde van Vlaanderen. It was covered by 5 hours of live TV! We started out with high morale and had one clear objective — to support Martijn as best as possible as we know he could be there in the finale for the win.

Michael Friedman - Tour of Flanders 2009

Martijn Maaskant - Tour of Flanders 2009The weather was almost too nice! So we had to cover all the breaks and make the race hard. The first two hours was 50 km/h average! And once it slowed Cozza countered a two man breakaway to keep the speed high. In the meantime Friedman broke his saddle and had to change bike, which is not easy on the cobblestones and hills.

As the race moved forward Martijn felt better and better and the field got smaller and smaller. Quick Step was definitely the strongest team today and Martijn couldn’t fight that, so he had to play his cards carefully. He was in the end in the main moves without blowing all of his energy. Over the Muur he was there and over Bosberg he was right there too, but with De Volder one minutr up the road it was clear that the best option was to go for a sprint in a small group. So with 200 meters to go he avoided a crash and passed the finish line in third for fourth overall — so close to the podium spot! But a super performance and once again a proof that he is the Mr. Classics man of the future!

Martijn Maaskant - Tour of Flanders 2009

Team Garmin-Slipstream results
1. Stijn Devolder 6h01’04
4. Martijn Maaskant
80. Huub Duyn +12’32
91. Steven Cozza +13’53
107. Christopher Sutton
HD Svein Tuft +22’29
DNF Julian Dean
DNF Michael Friedman
DNF Will Frischkorn