Extraordinary Stannard

Embedded image permalinkIan Stannard: 
"I was worried but I got an easy ride. It was hard in the end. I just had to be strong and put my head down. I expected Boonen's attack as he had stopped riding. I preferred to go to the finish with Terpstra instead of Boonen. It was a gambling not to work but I had to play on that. It's a good start and hopefully I will be more successful than last year."
Source http://cyclingquotes.com/live
“I couldn’t be happier. It’s nice to do the double sweep at the race, but after the difficulties I had last year breaking my back it’s nice to have got myself back to where I was.  
Being with those three guys I knew they were all committed to trying to win. As a team they haven’t won it for 10 years and it’s a big one missing off Boonen’s palmares. I knew they were going to race hard. With Sep Vanmarcke and Greg van Avermaet chasing behind it put the pressure on them. I could just sit back, play a bit of poker and enjoy the ride.
I just wanted to get a free ride for as long as I could. That was my idea. When they all started attacking me it wasn’t a great feeling. When Boonen went I was thinking ‘right, what do I do here?’ I knew if I rode him back I’d get attacked. I paced myself back a little bit. I could feel the wheel behind was trying hard to stay with me. So I felt like it was going pretty good and then I just took my chance.
Embedded image permalinkAll the guys got me into the climbs perfectly. I felt a bit of pressure when you’ve got a Tour de France winner putting it all on the line for you. You can only really finish it off can’t you! The whole team has really lifted a level since last year. We were always at the front and always perfectly positioned. Quick-Step took me to the end and I only had to race the last 4km (laughs)!”

Source: http://www.teamsky.com/teamsky/home%20carousel/article/26899#i75Qio7hExKKrsQZ.99

Tom Boonen: 
"Today we made a mistake in the final. We were in control of the race with three riders in the front group. In the final kilometers we attacked. Niki went first, Stannard reacted, and then I countered with my move. I was pretty sure at that time that it was the right moment to do it. But Stannard had the strategy to ride on the wheels of us three in the lead group, and save his energy until the final kilometers, so he was a bit fresher. He was also strong today. So, he caught me. The best thing to do at that point would have been to stay calm and wait for the sprint. But we had been full gas for the last hour, so really it was about instinct at that point. So, Niki attacked again, then Stannard, and then the final sprint was between those two guys. There is a thin line between a great race and a costly mistake and unfortunately we took the risk of not waiting for the sprint, and it didn't work out. It would have been great to win the race, but that's cycling. Congrats to Stannard. He rode a smart tactical race and his reactions to our attacks were impressive. His sprint was also strong. As a team we rode super strong today and while we unfortunately fell short of victory, we know what we are capable of for future races."

Sep Vanmarcke:
"I did what I could after my flat tires but it wasn't enough.
Vanmarcke fought for what he was worth, but the gap was never smaller than 16 seconds.
Ahead of the Taaienberg I was exactly where I wanted to be, but with a few hundred meters to go to the foot, I flatted. Maarten Wynants gave me his wheel and told me I still had a chance. Thanks to an adrenaline boost I was able to return to the front.
I knew at that point that I had to make it a hard race, for tactical reasons. Unfortunately I punctured again and Etixx-QuickStep and Stannard benefited from this. We were one man short in the chase, otherwise we could have bridged to the leaders.”

1 Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky 4:58:42  
2 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx - Quick-Step  
3 Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:03  
4 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:12  
5 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:01:24  
6 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
7 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:01:29  
8 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:04:35  
9 Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky 0:04:55  

10 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ.fr

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