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Ster Elektro Toer 2008 – Prologue Schijndel & Photos
By Bart Hazen
Date: 6/17/2008
Ster Elektro Toer 2008 – Prologue Schijndel & Photos

Ster Elektro Toer 2008 – Prologue Schijndel & Photos
Young Gun Tony Martin of High Road tops the podium and G.C. after the Prologue in the 5 day Toer.  Photo Journal

The Prologue in the 2008 Ster Elektro Toer was won by German youngster Tony Martin (Team High Road). The first year professional, who won earlier this year at the Hel van het Mergelland and was second in the final ITT of the Giro D’Italia behind his team mate Marco Pinotti, was 2 seconds faster than Russian youngster Nikolai Trussov (Tinkoff Credit Systems) and 3 seconds faster than British youngster Geraint Thomas.

Click on photos for larger images

High Road's Tony Martin on the way to the win. Barloworld's Geraint Thomas, 3rd place. Photos © 2008 Bart Hazen

Bradley McGee, who returned to competition after his collarbone break in the recent Giro D’Italia, finished fourth and local favorite Koen de Kort (Astana) completed the top 5. Last year’s prologue winner Mikhail Ignatiev, who hasn't had his best season so far, finished in 6th.

Tinkoff's Nicolai Trussov 2 seconds off the pace.   Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

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CSC's Bradley McGee back from injury put in a solid performance, - Rabo's Joost Posthuma. Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

But the most surprising rider at the start is the winner of the 2008 edition of Paris Roubaix Tom Boonen. Boonen, who was in the news the past week due to his positive test on cocaine, uses this race to prepare for the Belgium Championships and the final part of the season; as the chance is very little that he will be allowed to start the Tour de France in about two weeks. Boonen did a good prologue finishing 12th 14 seconds down on Martin.

Local favorite  Koen de Kort (Astana)

Now the Ster Elektro Toer will head to the Southern parts of The Netherlands and also the Ardennes in Belgium. The second stage will take the riders from Schijndel to Valkenburg over 177 km. The finish is on top of the famous Cauberg climb.

The 3rd stage will be the Ardennes stage from Verviers to La Gileppe over 192 km with some climbs of Liege-Bastogne-Liege on the course like the famous La Redoute.

The 4th stage will be from Schimmert to Schimmert over 178 km and will take the riders through the hills of the Netherlands using the classic climbs of the Amstel Gold Race like the Eyserbosweg and the Camerig.

Tony Martin first leader of the 2008 Ster Electro Toer on the podium.
Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

The final stage on Saturday is from Sittard to Gemert over 150 km. This stage is suited for the real sprinters. After this stage we will know who will succeed Sebastian Langeveld (Rabobank) who won this race in 2007. Langeveld is not at the race to defend his victory as he is currently riding in Switzerland to fine tune his form for the Tour de France.

High Road Report
Martin Clinches Prologue

Talented young German rider Tony Martin blasted to an unexpected but nonetheless welcome win in the six kilometer prologue of the Ster Elektrotoer stage race on Tuesday.  Averaging an impressive 52 kilometers an hour for the short but highly technical course in Schijndel, Holland Martin started mid-way through the field. 23-year-old Martin had to wait for over two hours whilst all the other riders finished before he was finally confirmed as the winner - by a mere two second margin over Russian Nikolay Trusov.

Martin said he was delighted but surprised to have taken the five-day stage race’s opening time trial. “I’m pleased that I managed to achieve this win because I haven’t raced since the Tour of Italy finished over two and a half weeks ago. That’s a long gap and I truly wasn’t expecting this.”

“When I set the best time I was pleased, but not nervous, because there wasn’t much point. I had no idea what was going to happen, with so many riders still due to come in.”

Adding to Martin’s pleasure was the fact that the course “didn’t suit me at all, being so technical. But I went round it four times on my bike before the actual prologue itself, and that helped a great deal to work out how to tackle it best.”

“For the actual ride itself, there were no tactics, it was just a question of going full gas, remembering what was coming up, concentrating hard and hoping I would do ok.”

On Wednesday the Ster Elektrotoer heads for the rolling terrain of southern Holland, with a hilltop finish on the Valkenberg climb. It’s a different challenge, but Martin is optimistic about his chances. “I’m feeling very confident, and the team will do their best there. The great news is that we’re not under pressure in this race, so we won’t be getting too nervous - and when you’re relaxed you tend to win more!”

Southern Holland is also where Martin and team-mate Adam Hansen won the rain lashed Hel Van Het Mergelland one-day race this April, in an epic two rider day-long break. “I know the terrain and I know the climbs. That’s always a plus, too.” Martin added. “And having won in the region beforehand is always good for your morale - you’ve got the good memories to help you keep going.”

Ster Elektro Toer 2008
Prologue Results & General Classification
6 km - 7.20.10
1 Tony Martin (Ger) Team High Road 7.20.10
2 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems 0.02.45
3 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Barloworld 0.03.83

Young Mr. Martin enjoys his win and rewards.
Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

4 Bradley McGee (Aus) Team CSC 0.05.83
5 Koen De Kort (Ned) Astana 0.09.28
6 Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems 0.10.11
7 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank 0.10.59
8 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Barloworld 0.12.80
9 Mauro Facci (Ita) Quick Step 0.13.18
10 Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Tinkoff Credit Systems 0.13.33
11 Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank 0.14.43
12 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step 0.14.97
13 Michael Blaudzun (Den) Team CSC 0.14.98
14 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team High Road 0.15.35
15 Bram Schmitz (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH Elshof 0.15.42
16 Servais Knaven (Ned) Team High Road 0.16.01
16 Sven Krauss (Ger) Gerolsteiner
18 Robert Hunter (RSA) Barloworld 0.16.38
19 Piet Rooijakkers (Ned) Skil-Shimano 0.16.57
20 Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems 0.16.62
21 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Silence - Lotto 0.17.48

22 Benoît Joachim (Lux) Astana 0.20.20
23 Alexandr Pliuschin (Mda) AG2R La Mondiale 0.20.45
24 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team High Road 0.20.72
25 Markus Eichler (Ger) Team Milram 0.21.13
26 Jos Pronk (Ned) Krolstone Continental Team 0.21.65
27 Thomas Fothen (Ger) Gerolsteiner 0.21.71
28 Aaron Kemps (Aus) Astana 0.21.86
29 René Haselbacher (Aut) Astana 0.21.91
30 Joost Van Leijen (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH Elshof 0.22.00
31 Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil-Shimano 0.22.26
32 Roger Hammond (GBr) Team High Road 0.22.31
33 Ronan Van Zandbeek (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH Elshof 0.22.37
34 Jean-Patrick Nazon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0.22.39
35 Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Silence - Lotto 0.22.65
36 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2R La Mondiale 0.22.72
37 Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Gerolsteiner 0.22.97
38 Baden Cooke (Aus) Barloworld 0.23.32
39 Thomas Frei (Swi) Astana 0.23.43
40 Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil-Shimano 0.23.53
41 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Quick Step 0.23.65
42 David Kopp (Ger) Cycle Collstrop 0.23.70
43 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH Elshof 0.24.14
44 Bram De Groot (Ned) Rabobank 0.24.26
45 Andy Cappelle (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner 0.24.33
46 Francis De Greef (Bel) Silence - Lotto 0.24.49
47 Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Skil-Shimano 0.24.65
48 Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner 0.24.88
49 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Quick Step 0.24.92
50 Roman Kireyev (Kaz) Astana 0.25.42
51 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Gerolsteiner 0.25.66
52 Bert Roesems (Bel) Silence - Lotto 0.25.82
53 Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Cycle Collstrop 0.25.89
53 Wouter Mol (Ned) P3Transfer - Batavus
55 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank 0.26.25
56 Tom Leezer (Ned) Rabobank 0.26.38
57 Johan Coenen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen 0.26.43
58 Arnoud Van Groen (Ned) P3Transfer - Batavus 0.26.64
59 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0.26.70
60 Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team CSC 0.26.86
61 John-Lee Augustyn (RSA) Barloworld 0.26.97
62 Matthias Russ (Ger) Gerolsteiner 0.27.07
63 Daniele Contrini (Ita) Tinkoff Credit Systems 0.27.12
64 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank 0.27.21
65 Gianpaolo Cheula (Ita) Barloworld 0.27.37
66 Julien Mazet (Fra) Astana 0.27.72
67 Steffen Wesemann (Swi) Cycle Collstrop 0.27.86
68 Wim De Vocht (Bel) Silence - Lotto 0.27.92
69 Bastiaan Giling (Ned) Cycle Collstrop 0.27.99
70 Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen 0.28.05
71 Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana 0.28.10
72 Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen 0.28.11
73 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step 0.28.18
74 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen 0.28.19
75 Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Team High Road 0.28.48
76 Jan Kuyckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner 0.28.65
77 Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quick Step 0.28.72
78 Anders Lund (Den) Team CSC 0.28.89
79 Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH Elshof 0.29.06
80 Matti Breschel (Den) Team CSC 0.29.67
81 Sjoerd Botter (Ned) Krolstone Continental Team 0.29.81
82 Marco Marcato (Ita) Cycle Collstrop 0.29.87
83 Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner 0.30.22
84 Gregory Henderson (NZl) Team High Road 0.30.34
85 Thierry Hupond (Fra) Skil-Shimano 0.30.37
86 Addy Engels (Ned) Quick Step 0.31.00
87 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 0.31.02
87 Maurice De Bekker (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels
89 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank 0.31.26
90 Michal Golas (Pol) Cycle Collstrop 0.31.71
91 Sven Renders (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen 0.31.78
92 Yvo Kusters (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels 0.31.79
93 André Steensen (Den) Team CSC 0.31.85
94 Gerben Löwik (Ned) Rabobank 0.31.87
95 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) Skil-Shimano 0.31.93
96 Maurice Vrijmoed (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH Elshof 0.32.14
97 Niko Eeckhout (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen 0.32.31
98 Nico Sijmens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner 0.32.35
99 Matthé Pronk (Ned) Cycle Collstrop 0.32.43
100 Arne Hassink (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels 0.32.68
101 Niels Scheuneman (Ned) Krolstone Continental Team 0.32.92
102 Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Team CSC 0.33.03
103 Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quick Step 0.33.32
104 Jonas Ljungblad (Swe) P3Transfer - Batavus 0.33.39
105 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner 0.33.49
106 Christophe Edaleine (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0.34.28
107 Glenn d'Hollander (Bel) Silence - Lotto 0.34.33
108 Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Barloworld 0.34.39
109 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Krolstone Continental Team 0.34.54
110 Andreas Klier (Ger) Team High Road 0.34.88
111 Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil-Shimano 0.35.03
112 Rik Kavsek (Ned) Krolstone Continental Team 0.35.20
113 Hans Bloks (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels 0.35.40
114 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) P3Transfer - Batavus 0.36.08
115 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen 0.36.87
116 Lars Vierbergen (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH Elshof 0.36.92
117 Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner 0.37.19
118 Maint Berkenbosch (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels 0.37.76
119 Lasse Bøchman (Den) Team CSC 0.39.71
120 Geert Van Der Sanden (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels 0.39.72
121 Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen 0.39.78
122 Tim Klinger (Ger) Gerolsteiner 0.40.37
123 Ivor Bruin (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH Elshof 0.40.49
124 Carlo Westphal (Ger) Gerolsteiner 0.40.58
125 Bart Oegema (Ned) P3Transfer - Batavus 0.40.79
126 Jasper Lenferink (Ned) Krolstone Continental Team 0.41.21
127 Dominik Roels (Ger) Team Milram 0.41.24
128 Kenny Van Der Schueren (Bel) Cycle Collstrop 0.41.26
128 Adriaan Helmantel (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels
130 Wout Poels (Ned) P3Transfer - Batavus 0.41.62
131 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Tinkoff Credit Systems 0.42.43
132 Jos Harms (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels 0.43.42
133 Reinier Honig (Ned) P3Transfer - Batavus 0.43.59
134 Floris Goesinnen (Ned) Skil-Shimano 0.43.82
135 Wim Van Huffel (Bel) Silence - Lotto 0.44.18
136 Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Krolstone Continental Team 0.44.38
137 Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Team Milram 0.45.11
138 Geert Steurs (Bel) Silence - Lotto 0.45.68
139 Nikita Eskov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems 0.52.32
140 Dennis Haueisen (Ger) Team Milram 0.52.94
141 Bernardo Riccio (Ita) Tinkoff Credit Systems 0.53.06
142 Steven Kleynen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner 0.55.67
143 Luca Barla (Ita) Team Milram 0.57.00
144 Bobbie Traksel (Ned) P3Transfer - Batavus 1.04.20
145 Eric Van De Meent (Ned) Krolstone Continental Team 1.06.80
146 Marco Corti (Ita) Barloworld 1.08.50
147 Oscar Gatto (Ita) Gerolsteiner 1.24.90

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