It was an overall victory for José Gonçalves in Sunday’s Ster ZLM Toer (2.1), as the Portuguese rider maintained and widened his race lead on the final stage to claim the GC win. Along the path to success, Gonçalves, 28, won the queen stage of climbing and then added 3-seconds to his margin of victory on the last day of racing, displaying his determination to keep the win in hand.
“I am very happy. This is my first GC win for this tour and I want to thank my team for everything they did. They were very strong today and did such a good job,” said an appreciative José Gonçalves, 28, winner of the 2016 Presidential Tour of Turkey.
Sunday’s stage 5 in Ster ZLM Toer was 180.9k in Oss. A sprint finish won by QuickStep’s Marcel Kittel made no change to the GC positions, with Gonçalves holding 11-seconds to Primož Roglič (LottoNL-Jumbo).
“It was a nice feeling here in Holland and Belgium that the team won the GC and yesterday’s hard stage for José,” said sports director Torsten Schmidt. “I think everyone showed a very good attitude about the race from the first kilometer until the end. They were fully concentrated and respectful. In the end they earned the victory with a huge effort in the Ardennes stage when José made everything clear. Also today we saw the entire team pulling for the yellow jersey because there was only an 8 second gap. He won an intermediate sprint and took another 3 second bonus. I think this group showed high professionalism.”