“The plan was to ride for a sprint with Theo Bos, but the weather was so bad that I got the idea that there were opportunities for attackers,” Van Emden said. “When I stopped to pee, I saw that peloton was split in several groups, and that wasn’t because of the wind.” Van Emden paid tribute to team-mate Bos a finish after. “I asked him if I could attack. He said yes, but on one condition, that I would win. Unfortunately, I couldn’t, but I’m happy with my third place. I fought for the victory and that doesn’t happen too often. It feels like I’ve won a podium finish, not lost a win.”
Van Emden followed the attack of some riders in the hills near the final. The gap grew quickly and the win appeared possible. “I believed that we were going to battle for the win,” he added. “When I wanted to attack from behind, Lampaert beat me to it. Eventually, I trailed at about 20 metres behind him. I just couldn’t get closer. He was too strong.
“From five to two kilometres to go, I gave all I had for the second place, but unfortunately, I was reeled in. I accelerated again, but was caught by Vingerling with 300 metres left. I was exhausted and he beat me in the sprint.