Procycling: Gent-Wevelgem

Lotta Lepisto won the women's race. 
The men's race is on now. Windy and crashy: the peloton split up... Still more than 80 km to go.
65 km to go the early break is almost over. Fireworks expected soon.
Plugstreets gravel road. A mechanical problem for Demare... Kristoff also had to stop due to a puncture. Luke Rowe is a little dropped.
50 km to go only Van Hecke is still away. But his gap is just 30''... 
43 km to go a bad crash brings down several riders. Team Sky's Moscon is involved, as well Martin and Leezer.
meanwhile Kristoff is still chasing the tail of the peloton.
The usual Belgian mess.
38 km to go surprisingly Van Hecke is still solo ahead. Daniel Oss attacks. All together!
35 km to go Stuyven and Lampaert have got a gap. 
On the cobbles and van Avermaet is off the front. All the best ones respond. 5 riders in front: Boasson Hagen, Van Avermaet, Sagan, Stybar, Degenkolb and Terpstra. A few others joined, including Trentin, Colbrelli, Naesen, Betiol, Andersen, Keukeleire, Thwaites and Matthews but their advantage is slight.
20 km to go the front group split again. They have a 24'' gap. 
5 riders are leading: Sagan, Van Avermaet, Terpstra, Keukeleire and Kragh Andersen. They have 40'' on the peloton and about 20'' on the first chasing group. Sagan is not collaborating so van Avermaet and Keukeleire go.
They enter the last km with just 12'' on the Sagan's group. The peloton is also getting close. It's a mind game now. Sagan is too close. Van Avermaet launches the sprint, Keukelaire should take advantage but he lacks the power. Greg van Avermaet wins.


Lotta Lepistö:
"This race was my goal. I was focussed on winning it. It’s a race that suits me and last year I was close but made a mistake and I told myself that won’t happen again. So today I made sure I was in the front. Flanders is flanders and anything can happen but this was my goal and we agreed to target today and I got it. I am really satisfied. Three weeks ago I told Christina [Pertchold] I want to win this race, she texted me yesterday and said keep your promise."
Despite numerous attacks, the race eventually came down to a bunch sprint. Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Team was well represented in the front grouo of the 146km race.  Gent Wevelgem featured five climbs, with the Kemmelberg and Monteberg navigated twice. 
We had five girls in the front group. They did an amazing job. Stephie [Pohl] did the leadouts to the Kemmelberg, Marie [Vilmann] our climber here in Flanders attacked after the climbs to put pressure on the group, Cecilie [Uttrup Ludwig] waited for me in the climbs and brought me to the front because I wanted to ride them at my own pace. She covered a million attacks. Lisa [Klein] is my tandem, she is always with me. Ashleigh [Moolman-Pasio] coming back from injury and being in all the attacks and keeping me calm. She always has the right things to say, telling me to relax, it’s not my turn to go into a group. Thomas in the car had a really good tactic and believed in us. This is another team victory."


Greg Van Avermaet:
"I was not expecting to win Gent-Wevelgem, but I'm really happy. It's definitely the best start of the season that I've ever had. I've won three Classics already so it's an amazing feeling. It's never easy to win these races and normally Gent-Wevelgem isn't so much of a race for me. I tried so many times to win here and now I've won three all in one season. It's a wonderful feeling and it gives me extra confidence for Ronde van Vlaanderen.
The guys, like Stefan Küng and Loïc Vliegen, did a great job to bring Quickstep-Floors back when they went away on the gravel roads. Daniel Oss was strong too the whole day. It was a really hard race for sure and you need a strong team in these races.
The Kemmelberg is always a point when everyone wants to go and I felt really strong there. I hoped to get a good group with me and that's what happened. Then we went way with strong guys. I was riding really hard the whole time because sometimes when you do a small pull you lose less energy than when you have to close gaps. In a race like this you can't say we are not going to ride with 20km to go. You have to keep going the whole time. That's what happened with Jens Keukeleire and I when it was just the two of us. The whole last 10km we weren't speaking, it was just head down and going as fast as we could. It was a great win and the race was really perfect. About Ronde van Vlaanderen, I don't think I can say anymore that I'm not the favorite. These wins give me extra confidence before next Sunday. I said on Friday that I can beat anyone in the sprint on a hard race. Now we look to Ronde van Vlaanderen and I'm going to give it everything I have."

Niki Terpstra:
"We were five riders in the front. When Greg and Jens attacked, I didn't chase immediately, because I thought it was up to Sagan to close the gap, as he was the fastest of the group. Unfortunately, we couldn't come back until the line and that was that."

Peter Sagan:
"I don't know what Terpstra wanted to do, because he attacked to go in the breakaway and after he doesn't want to work. This is just one example of how you can lose the race against me. What can I do? I am not his teammate. I'm going to work for what, for Terpstra to beat me in the sprint? I could decide today who can win.
It's not disappointment, I am more motivated. If you are winning always maybe you lose motivation. Now I am motivated to take some victories. But still, you know, against everybody, it's not sport. This is just, I don't know, a very cheap game."

Tom Boonen:
"Nikki didn't fail: Sagan failed. If you're Sagan and you're in such a situation, you always have to react. He's the only man who lost the race today. Nikki didn't lose the race. He was there, trying to win the race. It's up to Sagan to react at that moment, when you're the strongest and the world champion. I think he's fed up with it. He's complaining a lot and that's normal. It's the busiest time of his life, and at a certain moment, you're fed up with that. He's not more nervous. He gets angry once in a while. He's hesitating and that's crucial at those moments in the race. You shouldn't doubt. You always have to do what's on your mind. That's the best thing to do. But he's still super strong: Sagan and Greg are a level above the rest."

Alberto Bettiol:
“Today was only my fourth or fifth Classic race here in Belgium. I only did last year three races and then one this year. The level is so high here. To be here, you have to be strong and you have to be lucky. I’m very happy with my performance. I’m already looking forward to next Sunday. It was more than the last hour, it was the last three hours, it was all day. We were fighting all day because in a race like this position is almost everything. It doesn’t matter how strong you are, if you’re not in good position or if you crash or if you have a flat tire because you have to ride in the grass, it makes your day very hard. When I started this morning, I was focused and my teammates were focused on position.
When Sagan and Van Avermaet attacked on the Kemmelberg, I felt pretty good. I couldn’t follow them, but I was soon back too them. I was pretty confident that we’d arrive on the finish. Even [sport director] [Andreas Klier] was saying in the car that there was no way that they’d catch us. Van Avermaet attacked again. I was too tired to follow, but I wasn’t the only that was a bit tired. The other guys could also not go. Then our group was caught by the Trek guys for Degenkelb and the story was already written. 
Andreas and Ken [Vanmarcke] did a great job behind the scenes. They filmed all the roads. For this race, it’s so important to know what’s going to happen. I think not so many teams give this opportunity to all their riders. It’s not only the riders but the staff that do a great effort, and I think everyone should know that. Now we rest. And we see you on Sunday.”

Jens Keukeleire:
"I think I did everything right but Greg was too strong. I didn't get further than his front wheel. I'm limping on two thoughts right now because I came so close to the win but of course it's fantastic to perform this way. 
I told the team that I was not having great legs. It turned around when we climbed the Kemmelberg for the last time. I was in the top 10 at the top and realised that everyone was crawling to the top while I was climbing smoothly.
There'll be a lot of wind when we reach Veurne but also, there's a headwind to the finish. That'll make it a different race compared to other years.
I was surprised because I expected that a big group would be formed after the Kemmelberg, knowing there were a lot of fast riders in front. The front group was perfectly composed. Still, it was hard work until the finish line.
At that moment I felt it was the time to try something. If you go and one of the Quick-Step riders joins you, then they're not going to chase. I accelerated when exiting Ieper. I closed a gap on Oliver Naesen and was joined by Sagan, Van Avermaet, Andersen and Terpstra. Lorenzo [Lapage] was shouting that we had a gap with the two of us and that they were slowing down behind us. I was pleased to be rid of Terpstra. He was wheelsucking for a while and he had some guys in the chase group. 
With Greg, I had an incredible motor with me. It hurt until the line to keep up with him. We didn't have to talk in order to know we had to keep going full gas. I managed to get Greg into the lead in the final kilometre but that was it.

Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
2 Jolien D'Hoore (Bel) Wiggle High5  
3 Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb Women
1 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 5:39:05
2 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-Scott
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:06
4 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step Floors
5 John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
6 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
7 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb
9 Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors
10 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Team UAE Emirates
11 Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
12 Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
13 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
14 Juraj Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
15 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
16 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb
17 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe
18 Jos Van Emden (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
19 Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
20 Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
21 Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky
22 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
23 Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
24 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar Team
25 Marco Marcato (Ita) Team UAE Emirates
26 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Orica-Scott
27 Loïc Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team
28 Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team
29 Scott Thwaites (GBr) Dimension Data
30 Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
31 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Lotto Soudal
32 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac
33 Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro Team
34 Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale
35 Bram Tankink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
36 Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
37 Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
38 Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
39 Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team
40 Andrey Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team
41 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal
42 Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team
43 Mitch Docker (Aus) Orica-Scott 0:00:13
44 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
45 Koen De Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
46 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
47 Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Orica-Scott
48 Julien Vermote (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
49 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
50 Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
51 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
52 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors
53 Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
54 Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:30
55 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac 0:01:20
56 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal 0:01:32
57 Robert Wagner (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:07:26
58 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
59 Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
60 Elmar Reinders (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
61 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team
62 Moreno Hofland (Ned) Lotto Soudal
63 Huub Duyn (Ned) Veranda's Willems Crelan
64 Iljo Keisse (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
65 Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing Team
66 Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data
67 Carlos Barbero (Spa) Movistar Team
68 Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
69 Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
70 Mark Mcnally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
71 Simone Consonni (Ita) Team UAE Emirates
72 Ryan Mullen (Irl) Cannondale-Drapac
73 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin
74 Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
75 Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
76 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension Data
77 Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Israel Cycling Academy
78 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
79 Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb
80 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
81 Amund Grondahl Jansen (Nor) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
82 Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team
83 Borut Bozic (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
84 Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal
85 Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
86 Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
87 Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
88 Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
89 Berden De Vries (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
90 Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team
91 Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale
92 Héctor Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team
93 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
94 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
95 Lars Boom (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
96 Tyler Farrar (USA) Dimension Data
97 Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
98 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica-Scott
99 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
100 Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
101 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott
102 Wesley Kreder (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
103 Michael Morkov (Den) Katusha-Alpecin 0:13:47
104 Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
105 Federico Zurlo (Ita) Team UAE Emirates
106 Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ
107 Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ
108 Loic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
109 Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Team Sky
110 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky
111 Christophe Masson (Fra) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
112 Gregory Rast (Swi) Trek-Segafredo
113 Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
114 Edward Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise 0:13:51
115 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky 0:13:52
DNF Stef Van Zummeren (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
DNF Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team
DNF Otto Vergaerde (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
DNF Michaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNF Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNF Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Veranda's Willems Crelan
DNF Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNF Rudy Barbier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Timothy Dupont (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
DNF Michael Goolaerts (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
DNF Dries De Bondt (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
DNF Matti Breschel (Den) Astana Pro Team
DNF Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNF Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Benjamin Perry (Can) Israel Cycling Academy
DNF Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy
DNF Christophe Prémont (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
DNF Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-Alpecin
DNF Michal Kolár (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Taco Van Der Hoorn (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
DNF Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Andre Looij (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
DNF Jesper Asselman (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
DNF Daniel Turek (Cze) Israel Cycling Academy
DNF Roy Jans (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
DNF Mihkel Räim (Est) Israel Cycling Academy
DNF Jimmy Duquennoy (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
DNF Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Israel Cycling Academy
DNF Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling Academy
DNF Ludwig De Winter (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
DNF Julien Stassen (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
DNF Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNF Lawrence Naesen (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
DNF Alex Kirsch (Lux) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
DNF Stijn Steels (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNF Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal
DNF Oscar Gatto (Ita) Astana Pro Team
DNF Guy Sagiv (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy
DNF Roger Kluge (Ger) Orica-Scott
DNF Jens Wallays (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNF Nuno Matos (Por) Movistar Team
DNF Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar Team
DNF Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Sunweb
DNF Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team
DNF Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Sunweb
DNF Zico Waeytens (Bel) Team Sunweb
DNF Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Sunweb
DNF Jorge Arcas Peña (Spa) Movistar Team
DNF Jonathan Dibben (GBr) Team Sky
DNF Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ
DNF Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-Scott
DNF Nick Dougall (RSA) Dimension Data
DNF Owain Doull (GBr) Team Sky
DNF Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky
DNF Thomas Leezer (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
DNF Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Team LottNl-Jumbo
DNF Youcef Reguigui (Alg) Dimension Data
DNF Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data
DNF Boy van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
DNF Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky
DNF Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale-Drapac
DNF Robin Stenuit (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNF Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
DNF Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
DNF Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin
DNF Chun Kai Feng (Tpe) Bahrain-Merida
DNF Maxime Farazijn (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNF Ion Insausti (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
DNF David Per (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
DNF Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb
DNF Oliviero Troia (Ita) Team UAE Emirates
DNF Simone Antonini (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNF Tom Scully (NZl) Cannondale-Drapac
DNF Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Team UAE Emirates
DNF Filippo Ganna (Ita) Team UAE Emirates
DNF Wouter Wippert (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
DNF Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo
DNF Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) FDJ
DNF Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) FDJ
DNF Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ
DNF Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ
DNF Marko Kump (Slo) Team UAE Emirates

No comments: