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"When I arrived at the top, I saw that I was all by myself. I decided to wait, as a 60km solo wasn’t in my interest. I ended up in a group of 15 riders, but unfortunately nobody wanted to work with me. Otherwise, we could have se...

Photo: Belkin Pro Cycling Team






01.03.2014 @ 20:18 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The Belkin duo of Lars Boom and Sep Vanmarcke animated today's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad but a combination of bad luck and team tactics saw the team come away empty-handed. Arguably the strongest rider in the race, Vanmarcke had to settle for fourth but took plenty of confidence from his strong showing.


The Belkin Pro Cycling Team ended Saturday's 69th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad empty-handed, despite a very strong performance in rainy conditions in Belgium. Sep Vanmarcke, the winner in 2012, narrowly missed a podium spot with fourth in the traditional opener of the European season in Ghent. 

Vanmarcke exploded the race with about 60 kilometres to go. The Belgian was perfectly dropped off by his teammates on the way to the Taaienberg, and separated the men from the boys on the famous hill with a thunderous acceleration.


With several others vicious attacks during the remainder of the race, he proved that he was the strongest rider of the day. When Sky’s Ian Stannard – the eventual winner – and BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet attacked in the closing kilometres, he wasn’t able to follow.


He linked up with Niki Terpstra and Edvald Boasson Hagen to chase the leaders in vain, and eventually settled for fourth. 

“I felt very strong today,” said Vanmarcke. “The team was very strong. The boys went through fire and water for me. I wanted to be at the front when we approached the Taaienberg, and everyone was there for me at that moment. I was dropped off perfectly. When I arrived at the top, I saw that I was all by myself. I decided to wait, as a 60km solo wasn’t in my interest. I ended up in a group of 15 riders, but unfortunately nobody wanted to work with me. Otherwise, we could have sealed the race.” 


Bad luck for Boom

Lars Boom rode a very strong Omloop as well. The Dutchman established himself at the front of the race with 40 kilometres to go and seemed on his way to decide the race with Terpstra and Boasson Hagen. With only 20 kilometres to go, however, Boom was struck by bad luck when he punctured. 

“That was really frustrating,” said Boom. “I would have liked to fight for the win with Terpstra and Boasson Hagen. I was glad Sep was still close behind me, so that I could do some work for him. Looking back, I maybe should have saved some energy on that last cobblestone section. That way, I might could have attacked with Stannard and Van Avermaet in the final kilometres.” 

Boom gained a lot of confidence from his performance in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.


“I think I rode well today. I’m looking forward to Paris-Nice and the races after that. I hope I can improve a little bit more. The team is very motivated. The boys worked hard for Sep and I, and I think we showed that we were worth it. We’re in a fine shape. As a team, we rode an aggressive race and the fans can expect to see more of the same throughout the rest of the year.”



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