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"With three teams and sometimes ten riders we chased the leaders. The difference kept hanging around one minute. The group didn't get closer, then you have to acknowledge the better riders were in front," Frison says.

Photo: Sirotti

ANDRÉ GREIPEL

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KUURNE-BRUXELLES-KUURNE

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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02.03.2014 @ 20:34 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lotto Belisol had brought in André Greipel for today's Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and the German was the big favourite for the usually sprinter-friendly event. However, the team failed to bring back the crucial 10-rider break and admitted that they had lost out to stronger riders.

 

Yesterday Lotto Belisol admitted to being disappointed with their showing in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad but the team were keen to take revenge in today's Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. The team had saved André Greipel for the race that usually ends in a bunch sprint and took their responsibility to chase down the early break.

 

However, the team missed the split when Omega Pharma-Quick Step put down the hammer on the Oude Kwaremont and the team ended up chasing hard for the rest of the race. Despite the hard efforts of Jurgen Roelandts, Lars Bak, Jens Debusschere, Kris Boeckmans, and Marcel Sieberg, they failed to catch the 10 leaders and Greipel had to be content with 14th after doing an uninspired sprint in the second group,

 

Afterwards, the team admitted to having lost to better riders.

 

"We knew the phase of Côte de Trieu and Oude Kwaremont would be crucial and that we had to be in front there with André Greipel and some teammates," sports director Herman Frison said. "Then we had to see how to handle the rest of the race to get a sprint. But we couldn't fulfil our ambitions.
 
"On the Kwaremont Greipel was riding in a good position, but he gradually lost some places and missed out on the decisive break. Lars Bak and Jürgen Roelandts immediately started pulling in the chase, but it was too late. With three teams and sometimes ten riders we chased the leaders. The difference kept hanging around one minute. The group didn't get closer, then you have to acknowledge the better riders were in front."
 
The team plays down the significance of their bad weekend.
 
"We don't have to try and hide that the team had a bad weekend," Frison added. "The team has failed. But I don't agree that our team isn't strong enough as a whole; this is a random indication, indeed not an unimportant one. In the preparation we proved the opposite. For a big part it were the same riders, who helped to get success in the first races of the season. We missed the crucial moment today, but then we did everything to close the gap. Unfortunately that didn't work out. Our performance will understandably be enlarged. We didn't come to the front this weekend, but these two days are only one part of the season.
 
"Now we look ahead to new races, that offer new opportunities. Our next goals are Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico. Those races will be ridden partly by riders who raced this weekend and also other riders. Next week we have to optimally prepare ourselves for that."

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