Lennert Van Eetvelt has won the Trofeo Serra Tramuntana. After a difficult mountain stage, he showed himself stronger than Aleksandr Vlasov and Brandon McNulty in a sprint with three.
After Jonas Gregaard had colored the early flight, Lennert Van Eetvelt decided it was his turn to shine in the mountain stage, McNulty opened the debates on the Coll Puig Major. Vlasov joined quickly and Lennert Van Eetvelt subsequently managed to bridge the gap a few seconds later.
Behind them, a trio tried to make the jump, but without success. The winner was at the front. Despite a few difficult kilometers uphill in the final, the trio stayed together and sprinted for the win. McNulty led out the sprint and Vlasov countered, but Van Eetvelt was able to sprint faster and claimed the win. The young rider ensures Lotto Dstny’s first victory of the season.
Van Eetvelt had to settle for second place in the Trofeo Tramuntana last year, but now managed to win “The difference with last year, when I was second, was luck and good legs,” says he. “Last Wednesday (in the first race of the Challenge Mallorca) I already felt that my form was good, but the result was bad, because I made a few mistakes during the race. Today everything went well. I had a great day, luck was on my side and I have to admit that I climbed better than last year. I became stronger in the winter.”
Although Van Eetvelt was on the road with two strong climbers, he wasn’t nervous at all. “I know Vlasov and McNulty, they are very strong. But in a sprint with climbers I know I’m not slow. I’m often faster than other climbers, so I started my sprint with confidence. I am very happy that I can beat these two strong men. Furthermore, I must admit that I explored the final on Thursday (he did not ride the 2nd race of Challenge Mallorca.). Last year I also had to sprint with a small group (five riders) in the 20th stage of the Vuelta and I only finished fourth in the sprint. I didn’t know the final at the time, I didn’t want to make that mistake now, so I did a recon and knew how to approach things. That was a big advantage today.”
It’s the first win of Van Eetvelt this season and also the first one for Lotto Dstny in 2024. “It really means a lot to me to win today, the pressure is off now. It means a lot to win early in the season. I’m also very proud to take the first win for the team who rode well today, up to the other teammates now to follow my path (laughs)”