3.30.2014

Gent-Wevelgem: Elimination Race

Hills and crashes, crashes and hills. They did the work as I can work out. Look at the faces: surviors'. 
Ian Stannard (Sky) crashed out as well as Francisco Ventoso (Movistar), both to the the hospital. In a second big crash Christopher Sutton (Sky), Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) crashed and many others had to stop. 
From the early break-away - including also Sebastian Lander (BMC), Marcel Aregger (IAM), Jaco Venter (MTN-Qhubeka) and Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty-Groupe Robert) - Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo) was the last one left and finally caught atop the Monteberg.
All together 35km to go, all beated and bruised, all breathing  dust. The last attack came by Stijn Devolder (Trek Factory Racing), Silvan Dillier (BMC) and Andrey Amador (Movistar), neutralised 2 km to go by a large group. Hard pulling at the front by Cancellara, Sagan and Boonen but too many sprinters in the buch to prevent a bunch sprint. And Johan Degenkolb sprinted to win.
According to http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/gent-wevelgem-2014/results
"Degenkolb blew kisses to the television camera as he celebrated his victory.  "This is one of the really big Classics and I'm very happy to get this victory," he said "This is the next step in my career. I won Hamburg and that's a WorldTour race but with respect to it, this is a big, big race. It's great to win here."

What John Degenkolb said: 
“This race is one of the really big classics and I am so happy to add Gent-Wevelgem to my palmares. The race worked out perfectly for us today. The guys were really strong and Dries did a great job chasing towards the end – he is really strong at the moment. Koen de Kort positioned me perfectly in the final, driving me onto Sagan’s wheel and I had the right position and could come through at the right time so it was a fantastic sprint. I am a very happy man. My shape is good and this is a good sign for the next big races. Last weekend at Milan-Sanremo was probably one of the most disappointing moments of my career, and today everything went 100% better than last week so I can forget about that disappointment now.”

What Stijn Devolder said: 
“My form is good, and I already showed that in Harelbeke when I had to bridge to front group after the crash. Today I tried and just missed it; maybe with a little more luck it would have worked. I believed we had it until 2k to go. Then when Greipel crashed we thought this could be a key moment - that it could disrupt the chase behind – but not really. We had excellent collaboration between the three of us.  Now I am going to ride some more kilometers - my dad is waiting with the derny.”
What Andre Greipel ‏said:
"Legs were there-team was there-chance was there-but then this bike was there-no chance to avoid a free flight. Congrats @johndegenkolb "

Team Sky DS about crashes:
 “There were a lot of crashes today and our guys got caught up in a few. We had a lot of bad luck. Edvald didn’t go down but he was constantly behind crashes and lost his position in the peloton. He had to chase back and then just as he’d get there there’d be another crash. Geraint and Bernie were riding well. G went down heading into the closing stages but luckily he is okay. We ended up with four guys left coming into the final but they got held up behind the next set of crashes. It wasn’t our luckiest day today but hopefully we’ve used up a lot of the bad luck ahead of next week. The guys are riding well so we just need to keep our chins up and look ahead to Sunday and Flanders.
Doctor Phil Riley said: "CJ [Sutton] has a nasty flesh wound to his left knee which has been cleaned and dressed and he’s going to fly home to Spain and have it reassessed in a few days’ time. Ian has had CT scans which have confirmed a back injury. He will stay in hospital on tonight and will also be reassessed tomorrow before we decide whether or not he has to go home. Geraint is fine. Our physiotherapist Nathan Thomas checked him over after the race and G also confirmed that to me over the phone."
“There were a lot of crashes today and our guys got caught up in a few,” he confirmed. “We had a lot of bad luck.
“Edvald didn’t go down but he was constantly behind crashes and lost his position in the peloton. He had to chase back and then just as he’d get there there’d be another crash.
“Geraint and Bernie were riding well. G went down heading into the closing stages but luckily he is okay. We ended up with four guys left coming into the final but they got held up behind the next set of crashes. It wasn’t our luckiest day today but hopefully we’ve used up a lot of the bad luck ahead of next week.
“The guys are riding well so we just need to keep our chins up and look ahead to Sunday and Flanders.”
After the race, Doctor Phil Riley was able to shed some light on Team Sky's casualties, but admitted it would take more time for the full extent of the riders' injuries to be known.
He said: "CJ [Sutton] has a nasty flesh wound to his left knee which has been cleaned and dressed and he’s going to fly home to Spain and have it reassessed in a few days’ time.

"Ian has had CT scans which have confirmed a back injury. He will stay in hospital on tonight and will also be reassessed tomorrow before we decide whether or not he has to go home.

"Geraint is fine. Our physiotherapist Nathan Thomas checked him over after the race and G also confirmed that to me over the phone."

Read more at http://www.teamsky.com/article/0,27290,30353_9241078,00.html#t3IhZqj2w1SehuoK.99

MORE TO COME
RESULTS
1 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano 5:34:43
2 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ.fr

3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale

4 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team

5 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team

6 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise

7 Alexey Tsatevich (Rus) Team Katusha

8 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) AG2R La Mondiale

9 Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team

10 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol
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