TdF Daily | Stage 10 | Tour Rookie Marijn van den Berg goes for it again in the sprint

Dutchman finishes 11th after a strong lead out from his teammates

July 9, 2024

Marijn van den Berg is getting close in the sprints.

The Dutchman, who has already won four races this year, is riding his first Tour de France and enjoying the chance to go toe-to-toe with the fastest sprinters in the world in the high-speed, high-stakes game that is played after the red kite that marks one kilometer to go in cycling’s greatest race.

Today, his EF Education-EasyPost teammates got him there in just the right spot. After a slow roll out of Orléans, they had traveled south with the peloton, passing chateaux, woods, and wide-open fields, heading for Saint-Amand-Montrond in the center of the French heartland.

The stage was always going to end in a bunch sprint–there was hardly a hill on the race course–so they spun their legs and waited for the final hour of racing, where the speed went up to 60 km/hr and rarely let off.

With ten kilometers to go, our pink jerseys came to the fore, swapping turns in the wind to get ahead of the bedlam behind them. Rui Costa did a huge pull with five kilometers to go and then Neilson Powless took over. Our American climber bumped elbows with the other teams’ leadout men, as the pace went up to near 70 km/hr. With two kilometers to go, it was Stefan Bissegger’s turn. Our Swiss time trial specialist went all-in for Marijn, dropping our rookie sprinter off with one kilometer to go after a huge effort. Marijn accelerated.

Inside the last kilometer, there was a sharp left-hander, then a right, and another left. A wave of riders came around Marijn just before the bend and he couldn’t move up until the finishing straight. He sprinted the final 450 meters with all he had and came across the line 11th, a bit disappointed with the result, but very pleased with the work that his teammates did for him. He’ll chalk this one up to experience.

Hear from Marijn and our other riders after Stage 10.

Marijn van den Berg

The leadout was really good, already better than the other day. We went a little bit too early, but it was much better than before. The final was hectic. Maybe we hit the wind too early, but I think we can go from here.

Neilson Powless

Doing the leadout was pretty fun. It was painful. I was tasting blood in the last couple of kilometers, but it was good. We were on top of things when we thought there might have been some crosswinds, but there were no crosswinds. That at least kept us in position. We always want a better result, but in the end I think we executed fairly well as a team.

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