4.02.2015

Three Days of De Panne 3b: WOW WIGGINS! (and Kristoff)

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Wiggins before the start

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Jessee Sergent
What he wants, that he can. Wonderful performance by the World TT Champion Bradley Wiggins. Skill, legs and will power. WOW.
Amazing the young Stefan KuengVery good Jessee Sergent and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, but Wiggins was from another planet.
As far as the final GC is concerned, Stijn Devolder and Alexander Kristoff final duel was thrilling. Devolder is a hard fighter, he set a great performance...but he couldn't distance Kristoff, who kept the jersey.

Bradley Wiggins:
"I think it was one of my first time trials as a professional back in 2002 and it's probably my last one on this level. So it's nice to win and it was certainly in my mind today and this week. I really wanted to win this one.
I think I was 11th the first time I came here and I've won here before in 2009. I've always liked this time trial, especially when the weather picks up. It felt horrible but I think it was the same for everyone. We raced this morning really early and it never feels like it's flowing and fresh. Everyone's trying really hard. I knew there was an opportunity to jump up onto the podium as well.
Embedded image permalinkI've been at the front every day here and really committed to it. The team have done a good job in putting me there. The time trial there is a good test at the end.
I want to be at the final in Flanders with [Geraint Thomas] because I think that's where you can make the biggest difference. It's a big weekend. G's win last week only increases the interest. It's really good that now we've potentially got a British guy who can win Tour of Flanders. Not since Tommy Simpson have we had that."
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Stijn Devolder

Aleksander Kristoff:
"I was not able to win the time trial but I felt that I did a very good time trial. I managed to push the entire way and I am happy. This is maybe my best time trial ever. I was a little bit behind (Stijn) Devolder halfway through but I think I did better in the second half on the corners and I took a little time back there. I was a little bit scared at the beginning but I managed to keep a good tempo for the ride. This is a big victory, especially since I have not been this good here in the past. 
I think I am as strong as last year. Not better, not worse, but my sprint got better. We worked on my sprinter's train. With Jacopo in the team many things changed. He was the perfect glue for our train. All seven teammates here were one nice group. I’ve done Flanders the last three years and I’ve ridden in Belgium a lot so I feel I know the climbs. It’s not easy to win the Tour of Flanders but I hope my good legs are still there on Sunday and we’ll see. I feel good. I am not unbeatable. Look at Sanremo. It can happen in Flanders too. On the other hand, in that race I was not yet at my best shape. Now I am."

Stefan Küng:
"In the last five kilometers, I struggled a little bit and that might have cost me a few seconds. But in general, I am very happy. I didn't know how my condition was when I came into this race, so to finish it off like this gives me a lot of morale for the upcoming races." 

Stijn Devolder:
“I am happy to be on the podium again. One week ago in my crash I had thoughts that my spring season might be over, and I did not know at first how I would feel here. Kristoff had a great TT, and I have to be satisfied with second.
But the credit is all to my teammates, they did so much for me every race to protect me, and for them I was able to finish second today. This gives me confidence again; I am ready and looking forward to Sunday."

RESULTS
ITT
1 Bradley WIGGINS GBR SKY 35 17:49
2 Stefan KUENG SUI BMC 22 +10
3 Alexander KRISTOFF NOR KAT 28 +18
4 Guillaume VAN KEIRSBULCK BEL EQS 24 +18
5 Stijn DEVOLDER BEL TFR 36 +19
6 Jesse SERGENT NZL TFR 27 +28
7 Luke DURBRIDGE AUS OGE 24 +31
8 Julien VERMOTE BEL EQS 26 +34
9 Yves LAMPAERT BEL EQS 24 +35
10 Jens MOURIS NED OGE 35 +41
FINAL GC
1 Alexander KRISTOFF Norway KAT 28 12:19:10
2 Stijn DEVOLDER Belgium TFR 36 +23
3 Bradley WIGGINS Great Britain SKY 35 +42
4 Stefan KUENG Switzerland BMC 22 +50
5 Sean DE BIE Belgium LTS 24 +58
6 Lars Ytting BAK Denmark LTS 35 +59
7 Luke DURBRIDGE Australia OGE 24 +1:13
8 Julien VERMOTE Belgium EQS 26 +1:16
9 Yves LAMPAERT Belgium EQS 24 +1:17
10 André GREIPEL Germany LTS 33 +1:20

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