Trek Factory won Stage 1 of Tour of Alberta on Wednesday
Dressed in warm jackets, toques, and draped in thick blankets the team of eight (Jesse Sergent, Bauke Mollema, Marco Coledan, Matthew Busche, Laurent Didier, Gregory Rast, Hayden Roulston, and Kristof Vandewalle) sat in the hotseat to wait out the arrival of the rest of the teams in the chilly northern Canada temperatures.
It was a cold wait but in the end no one complained as the last team – pre-race favorite Orica GreenEdge who had set the fastest split time at the nine-kilometer mark – crossed less than one second slower to give the pinstriped team its first team time trial victory in its brief two-year history.
“It was a little unexpected because we saw that Orica-GreenEdge had the fastest spit by 12 seconds and we didn’t think it would be so close at the end,” said director Kim Andersen. “I knew that we had a good chance to win so I really tried to motivate the guys before the start. I think it also helped that we were third team to start because we could warm-up on the course, we did a full lap full gas and didn’t even have to use rollers.”
By halfway Trek Factory Racing had lost three men and had to pull out all the stops and keep everything together as the time counted with the 5th man across the line. The team’s strategy to start fast paid off, and the team snatched the win by the narrowest of margins.
“This was the first TTT win in my life, “said Bauke Mollema, who will wear the yellow jersey for Thursday’s second stage. “It was a big team effort and everyone gave everything he had.
It was not planned to lose three guys, the plan was to have eight when we finished, but in the past we have always started too slow.
“We have a habit of starting the TTT too slow and are flying by the end,” agreed Andersen. “So today we decided to go out fast, which sometimes can be a risk, but we wanted to take that chance and see what would happen. We lost Kristof first, which was not in the plan, and then Laurent and Rasty [Gregory Rast] later as expected. Bauke, Jesse, Marco, and Hayden were super strong, and Rasty was really strong for the first part. But the two
guys that did the most were Bauke and Jesse – Bauke was really, really strong and he deserves to wear the yellow jersey.”
The unconventional team time trial was raced solely on road bikes. Trek Factory Racing was outfitted with the new Trek Madone that rolled out just before this year’s Tour de France, and its sleek aero profile gave the team an edge, Mollema pointed out.
“I have to say that doing this time trial on road bikes favored us with the new Madone because it is super fast,” Mollema said. “The weather was between 10-12 degrees [Celsius] which is not so bad, but the wind was very cold and it made for a tricky parcours. There was a bit of a headwind on the way out and a tailwind on the way back. Our maximum speed on the way back was 72km/h! We actually were slower by 12 seconds at the intermediate so we did really well in the second. It’s always nice to win as a team, and this gives us huge motivation for the rest of the week.”
Source Trek Factory Racing