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Hel Van Het Mergelland 1.1 - Just in & Photos
By Bart Hazen
Date: 4/5/2008
Hel Van Het Mergelland 1.1 - Just in & Photos

Hel Van Het Mergelland 1.1 -  Just in
Brutal conditions mark the days race as Team High Road duo tops the podium.

Team High Road duo Tony Martin and Adam Hansen won the 191 km Hel Van Het Mergelland today after attacking from the 15 km mark the duo gained over ten minutes on the scattering peloton that was belted by rain and wind from the start to the stage.

Tony Martin and Adam Hansen celebrate the win at the finish.
Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

With the large gap the race was shortened to 185 km eliminating the final 6 km circuit due to the lead of Hansen and Martin. The two did not contest the sprint with Martin finishing first.

Hansen and Martin carry on in the rain.
Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

More photos and report to follow

The two mates hug after the victory.
Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

Team High Road Report
Duo Go It Alone for Epic Victory
A gutsy day-long break by High Road’s Adam Hansen and Tony Martin culminated in a remarkable victory for Martin in the Hel Van Het Mergelland one-day race in Holland on Saturday. Hansen and Martin broke away after just 15 kilometres of racing and the duo stayed away, with no other riders in the move, for the entire day.

They crossed the line together a good four minutes ahead of a leading chase group of four, and around 11 ahead of the main bunch of 20.

“Adam and me attacked, found there was just the two of us out there and decided to keep going. For a good 50 kilometres we had to really fight to convince the bunch to let us go.” Martin recounted. “Then afterwards the bunch cracked and the gap just grew and grew. We had no idea whether we would stay away or not, so we just hoped.”

Martin on the podium, ready to take the top step. Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

Weather conditions were far from favourable from the duo. Heavy rain early in the day made the roads treacherous, but the two persevered nonetheless. “We decided together that I would win. It was dangerous because there were cobbled sections to try and sprint in any case, plus Adam is a good friend and we are team-mates, too.”

“Adam said I should win after he punctured and I waited for him.” “It’s a very special, memorable victory - my first for High Road, too!”

“I honestly can’t remember anything like this happening before in a bike race, two team-mates going away so early and staying away right to the finish.” added Tristan Hoffman, team sports director.

“It’s a really exceptional victor after an exceptional race. They fought like animals to get their break away. First they only had a minute, then 90 seconds but they kept going until the bunch split into four.”  “I’m very pleased for the team, but I’m also pleased because it’s good to see when two riders-any riders - are so aggressive in a race and they get the right reward: a great win.”

"Kisses from the Misses" for Tony Martin on the podium.
Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

1. GER MARTIN Tony THR 04h50'17" 80

Podium: Hansen, Martin and Pieter Jakobs   Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

3. BEL JACOBS Pieter SIL 06'52" 40
4. NED HOOGERLAND Johnny VVE 06'52" 36
5. NED WESTRA Lieuwe KST 06'54" 32
6. NED TRAKSEL Bobbie FPT 07'39" 28
7. GER GLASNER Björn TRS 10'39" 24
8. CZE RABON Frantisek THR 10'41" 20
9. BEL SIJMENS Nico LAN 10'59" 16
10. NED SCHMITZ Bram VVE 10'59" 12
11. NED LEEZER Tom RAB 10'59" 8

Ale Jet Petacchi at the start of the race; abandoned the race after 50km.

12. AUS HAYMAN Mathew RAB 11'01" 5
13. NED MOL Wouter FPT 11'01" 5
14. NED BLOKS Hans CJP 11'03" 5
15. NED HONIG Reinier FPT 11'03" 5
16. NED BELLEMAKERS Dirk LAN 11'03" 5
18. NED VAN KESSEL Egon CJP 11'03" 5
19. BEL STEURS Geert SIL 11'03" 5
20. BEL NEYENS Maarten TSV 11'03" 5
21. CZE BENCIK Petr PSK 11'03" 0
22. DEN NIELSEN Jacob GLU 11'03" 0
23. NED VIERBERGEN Lars VVE 11'03" 0
24. NED SCHEUNEMAN Niels KST 11'03" 0
25. GER LEBEN Christian 3CG 11'03" 0
26. BEL KAISEN Olivier SIL 11'03" 0
27. RUS KOZONTCHUK Dmitriy RAB 11'03" 0
28. NED VRIJMOED Maurice VVE 11'03" 0
29. GER DRESSLER Frank MIT 11'03" 0
30. BEL DE GREEF Francis SIL 11'03" 0
31. BEL VANDEWALLE Kristof TSV 11'09" 0
32. NED POELS Wouter FPT 11'09" 0
33. NED VAN RUITENBEEK Malaya TRS 11'09" 0
34. BEL DEVENYNS Dries SIL 11'56" 0
35. NED DIJKXHOORN Rikke VVE 12'35" 0
36. NED MOLLEMA Bauke RAB 12'37" 0
37. NED VAN DULMEN Thom TRS 12'24" 0

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