Birthday boy Mathias Vacek comes close to the perfect day

Vacek came within two seconds of a birthday victory, but ends the Baloise Belgium Tour TT in second place, in addition to being the best young rider

The Baloise Belgium Tour got underway today with the first of its five stages; a 12 kilometer time trial in Beringen.

Lidl-Trek’s results in time trials have been on an upward trajectory for some time now, since the arrival of the latest Speed Concept superbike, along with with an increased focus on every small detail. The trend continued today, with Lidl-Trek delivering three riders in the top 10: Mathias Vacek in 2nd, Jasper Stuyven in 8th, and a Dann Hoole in 9th.

Speaking at the podium whilst clutching his new teddy bear and duck, Mathias said:

“It’s hard to say where I lost the two seconds, because I feel like I left everything out there. Maybe somewhere I lost it or did a mistake, but I don’t regret anything about it today. I think Wærenskjold was just faster in the last part and maybe a faster sprint after the corner and he gained time.

I’m the first beaten rider, but still a nice birthday and I did a big step from last year actually, I’m happy with the performance I did and we look ahead now for the next stages and go for the GC.

I really like this race. We’ve got two quite flat stages coming up for the sprinters and then we look forward to the Durbuy stage which is really hard and good for me. We’ll try to make the race there and gain some time on the other guys.”

Mathias on the way to the podium (Photo by Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

Jasper has made big gains against the clock in recent seasons (Photo by Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

Daan's fast time earned him a lengthy stint in the hot seat (Photo by Luc Claessen/Getty Images)