Home PROTOUR-CONTINENTAL-TEAM PRESS RELEASE LOTTO SOUDAL: SEVENTH PLACE FOR JENS DEBUSSCHERE AT GENT-WEVELGEM
PRESS RELEASE LOTTO SOUDAL: SEVENTH PLACE FOR JENS DEBUSSCHERE AT GENT-WEVELGEM PDF Print
Written by Media Departement Lotto Soudal   

Gent-Wevelgem was scheduled today: a race of 250 kilometres with cobblestone sections, short hills and an unpaved section on the course.

 Gent-Wevelgem was scheduled today: a race of 250 kilometres with cobblestone sections, short hills and an unpaved section on the course. It was a nervous race right from the start in Deinze. There were a lot of attacks and crashes. After 40 kilometres nine riders got away from the bunch and got a big gap of maximum seven minutes. A reduced peloton climbed the Kemmelberg for a first time but without much danger. Stybar attacked on the plugstreets, three unpaved road sections, forming a first separation. Van Hecke was the last escapee of the early breakaway. He was caught just before the second ascent of the  Kemmelberg.

Van Avermaet accelerated on the Kemmelberg and a select group of riders got at the front of the race including Sagan, Terpstra and Keukeleire. Jürgen Roelandts and Jens Debusschere couldn’t follow the attack. Lotto Soudal was up to a chase and was forced to be the engine of the pursuit. Sagan gave Van Avermaet and Keukeleire a little gap and the duo stayed ahead until Wevelgem. Greg Van Avermaet held off Keukeleire in a sprint and was the winner of the race. Sagan was the fastest for the third place. In the end Lotto Soudal reduced the gap to seven seconds. Jens Debusschere finished seventh as the first Lotto Soudal rider.


Sports Manager Marc Sergeant: “In the beginning of the race we tried to get Wallays, Frison or Bak into an escape but the peloton didn’t let them go. The important passage through the Moeren was one without any problems and in the important hill section we were always with five men in the first group of seventy riders. So far so good. But on the second passage of the Kemmelberg the best fifteen riders were gone and yet again no one from Lotto Soudal was at the front of the race. It’s painful to see but we can’t make excuses.  “


“We had to lead the chase with other teams who also weren’t represented at the front of the race. Eventually we stranded on dozens of metres and Jens Debusschere sprinted to the seventh place. That’s the only positive thing today. We need to recharge and focus on next week. First we need to see how the Driedaagse De Panne goes. Everbody knows that Van Avermaet and Sagan are the two top favourites for the Ronde van Vlaanderen. Hopefully we can form a solid team with Tiesj Benoot and Tony Gallopin and do better than past races.


Jens Debusschere: “I was on the wheel of Tom Boonen on the second passage of the Kemmelberg but I just had to let him go. In the descent of the Kemmelberg the better riders of the race were gone. I knew it would be hard to return to the front of the race. The team gave it their all and we almost caught the escapees, we were very close. It’s nice that I can sprint to the seventh place but I’m not satisfied. We couldn’t follow the better riders and that’s frustrating. We must look forward. I’m focussing on the Driedaagse De Panne and the Ronde van Vlaanderen.”


In the last stage of the Volta a Catalunya the riders covered 138.7 kilometres in and around Barcelona. Right after the start 21 riders including Thomas De Gendt set up a breakaway. Once the escapees were on the local circuit Thomas De Gendt and McCarthy left the others behind. McCarthy couldn’t follow the pace of De Gendt and let him go. The Lotto Soudal rider was caught at ten kilometres from the finish after a great escape. Alejandro Valverde sprinted to the victory. Jarlinson Pantano became second and Arthur Vichot third. Valverde is also the winner of the GC. Louis Vervaeke had to abandon the stage, André Greipel didn’t start.

 

 

 
 

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