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“I was at the front at all the crucial moments," he declared. "On the Redoute and Roche-aux-Faucons I feit really, really great. I thought that today could be my day." 

Photo: ©Kramon






26.04.2015 @ 21:32 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Enrico Gasparotto finished 16th in today's Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Wanty-Groupe Gobert's team captain finished at 24 seconds from winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). The Italian thus rounded off a strong series in the Ardennes Classics. Marco Minnaard represented the team in the day's breakaway, just like he did in 2014.


“The race saw a furious start and it took a while before a breakaway was allowed to go clear. After several attempts six riders took off and I managed to bridge," the Dutchman said.


The advantage of Minnaard and his seven breakaway companions Otto Vergaerde (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Rasmus Quaade (Cult Energy), Clément Chevrier (IAM), Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Argon18), Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida), Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r-la Mondiale) and Anthony Turgis (Cofidis) was seven minutes. Europcar closed to the gap to a minute on the Côte de Wanne where Minnaard was the first on the top.


“That was a special thing because lost year I had to let the group go on the Wanne. This year I wanted to do better. However it had taken a lot of effort to get in the break and after the Cote de Haute-Levée it was over for me.”


“It was a strange race today," sports director Hilaire Van Der Schueren said. “After the breakaway was caught, they kept on racing. It became an elimination race. The team did very well and everyone did their job fantastically. On the Redoute we still had four riders in the first group: Gasparotto, Baugnies, Leukemans and De Greef. Baugnies got dropped on the Redoute and De Greef crashed on the descent. Leukemans brought 'Gaspa' to the Roche-aux-Faucons well.”


“I felt so good today," De Greef said. The Belgian rider sustained an injury to his calf and a wound on the hip. "I was at the front all the time with the team leaders and then they crash just in front of me on the descent. That really sucks."


The blue Wanty-Groupe Gobert jersey around Enrico Gasparotto's shoulders was constantly visible at the front of the bunch.


“I was at the front at all the crucial moments," he declared. "On the Redoute and Roche-aux-Faucons I feit really, really great. I thought that today could be my day." The Italian suffered on the Côte de Saint Nicholas and had to let the first group go.


“I spent everything I had left to return to that group and at two kilometres from the line Nibali and I made it back but I was completely à bloc. However I did show last week that I am a consistent rider for the top 10-top 15 in these Ardennes races," Gasparotto concludes.


Hilaire Van Der Schueren looks back at the Spring campaign contently.


“From Harelbeke our team leaders did really well. It was bad luck that Leukemans had that mechanical in Tour of Flanders. In Roubaix we were doing great again and we have been in the major breakaways too. Gasparotto rides into the top 20 in all the Ardennes races and nets a great 8th place in the Amstel Gold Race. I am a happy sports director," Van der Schueren concludes.



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