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"I believed I could do a good result, but winning here against these sprinters was not the plan in the morning. I wanted to do as good as possible, and it’s the best as could be."

Photo: Lotto Soudal






12.03.2015 @ 21:02 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Seven riders escaped already early in the first stage of Tirreno-Adriatico. It was only when the peloton reached the two local laps of more than twenty kilometres in Cascina the race got exciting. The front group split in two and three riders were left in front.


Jelle Vanendert crashed at the beginning of the last lap, but could continue without too many problems. The sprint teams led their leaders to the final kilometres. Thanks to the perfect timing of a strong Jürgen Roelandts Belgian champion Jens Debusschere was well positioned.

In the wheel of Tyler Farrar he could avoid a crash and took his first win of the season. Debusschere is the first leader in the points classification.


“The last kilometres were really hectic. We were racing at a really high speed and, just like the others, I was looking for my teammates. I knew Jürgen Roelandts had to be close to me, but didn’t notice him immediately. It was only with eight hundred metres to go I saw him next to me. He perfectly led me to the front and then I knew a good result was possible. The condition is good, so I thought of a top five place, I didn’t expect to beat the top sprinters in this race. Because of the circumstances it worked out for me and I take my first win of the season,” Jens Debusschere told the Lotto-Soudal website.


“I was not really confident. I have felt good since last week. I felt my best shape this year is coming and yesterday my prologue was quite good, I felt some strength in the legs. I believed I could do a good result, but winning here against these sprinters was not the plan in the morning. I wanted to do as good as possible, and it’s the best as could be.

“At the moment I started my sprint I heard a crash or someone hitting someone else behind me. I still didn’t really think of winning when I went. I was thinking maybe Cavendish or Viviani were on my wheel and they’d come out. But it was a really fast sprint, and it’s really hard to pass someone when you are doing 70 kph. I thought maybe one or two might come past, but luckily no one did.

“This win is really important to me. It’s the biggest win in my career. The Belgian Championship was big, but this is at a much higher level. And I’m always happy to win while wearing the jersey [of the Belgian champion]. It’s great to win a victory so early in the season, especially in a WorldTour race.

“Last year was the first year I could really be important in some races, and also win some. I feel a little bit stronger every year. I’m not the kind of rider who makes a lot of progression in one year. I take small steps each year. I hope I can continue to do so for a few more seasons and I hope a few more victories will follow.

“Everything I know now about sprinting and preparation and looking and positioning, I learned from Andre [Greipel] and also [Marcel] Sieberg. These two taught me a lot about sprinting. To look at the details when you have one or two laps to go, where the wind is, how to take the corners. This is my fifth pro year, so I’ve had time to learn, and it has all come from them.


“I’m wearing the points jersey now, but it will be difficult to keep it with Peter Sagan in the peloton. Tomorrow he has a big chance of winning. We’ll see if I’m the leader in the team tomorrow or Pim Ligthart or Jürgen Roelandts. In the weekend I’ll try to assist our climbers as good as possible for as long as I can and on Monday there’s another opportunity for a bunch sprint.”



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