After his 15th position in the first stage of the Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia, Nick van der Lijke finished in 12th place in the second and final stage, also his final position in the GC. “It’s been a good two days, but I hoped to be in the top ten.”
22-year-old Justin Timmermans took off from the start with four other riders and was joined by 5 others shortly after. The peloton never gave them too much space and on the biggest climb of the day, the first category climb Alto Collado Bermejo, they were reeled in by the bunch, from which lots of riders were trying to break free.
In the end a total of nine favorites managed to stay out of the clutches of the peloton in Murcia, behind them the Roompot – Charles riders were working hard to give Nick van der Lijke a good finishing position. “The pace was high on the climbs. On the biggest one, Movistar and Astana bombarded each other, so everything fell apart. Eventually we were headed for the last climb with a group of about 50 riders. Oscar Riesebeek and Sjoerd van Ginneken helped me well. They worked hard. Eventually it was a good day for us. I felt good too.”
Van der Lijke looks back on a successful Tour of Murcia: “It’s been a good two day, but I had hoped to finish in the top ten. We were always right behind the strongest riders. I managed to lay a good foundation for the rest of the season in the past few weeks. Hopefully I can continue to improve my form in the coming weeks towards the bigger races. That would be nice.”
For the results of the second stage and our positions in the GC, take a look at our race page. Click HERE!