Speaking to TeamSky.com after today’s time trial test, Van Baarle spoke of his pride at racing as the Dutch time trial champion, and his excitement at what’s to come.
He said: “Today was OK. I went really hard in the headwind and then tried to hold it in the tailwind. It was hard - but time trials always are! I had good feelings.
“It was really cool to race in the national champion’s jersey for the first time. It definitely gives you morale, especially in front of the Dutch spectators. With the bike as well, it was nice to do.
“The next days will be a sprint, but the final stages this weekend will be the hardest. I’m trying to focus on that. I had a good feeling today so am looking forward to the rest of the week.
“The key stages are the last one to Geraardsbergen, but the one finishing in Sittard is also important. You don’t want to lose any time and with a late attack you can perhaps surprise some of the big names.
“I don’t come here as one of the big favourites, so I have to surprise a little bit. I’ll do my best."