Stage 4 – an individual time trial of 19,2 kilometers – has confirmed what already appeared in the first mountain stage: Jurgen Van den Broeck and Bart De Clercq have already an admirable condition and thanks to a sound performance in the time trial they could hang on to their spot in the top five; Van den Broeck has become third and De Clercq stays fifth. On a course that wasn’t really cut out for Van den Broeck – many straight roads, hardly any turns – the man from Morkhoven could stand his ground. He finished on the tenth place at 56” of winner Svein Tuft, Bart De Clercq became fifteenth. For the other Lotto Belisol riders it was so to speak a rest day, to be able to support Van den Broeck and De Clercq the next two days.
Jurgen Van den Broeck: “I would call myself rather satisfied than happy. First of all this race hasn’t finished yet, secondly it’s only January and finally there are still two feisty stages to come. On the other hand it is of course a fact that Lotto Belisol is performing well at different races, you shouldn’t underestimate the opponents, but it is a pity that only few want to make the race.”
“Yesterday in the first mountain stage I tried to attack a few times and also the next stages I expect some attempts, for example from the Brazilians. I look at it from day to day. I am here to see how my condition is in a race were a lot of big names are present. The aims will be to try to win a stage and have a nice classification. That Kwiatkowski is the leader doesn’t surprise me at all. He is a young, strong rider, but I am curious how he will get through the next two stages.”