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"(Ninth place) was kind of a relief after a confusing Friday (at E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke) when I had a bad day on the bike. But first of all, I am happy that we raced well together as a team," Hushovd says

Photo: BMC Racing Team (Continuum Sports, LLC)








31.03.2014 @ 11:46 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Thor Hushovd had been in the spotligt in Friday's E3 Harelbeke when he was seen struggling at the back before abandoning the race. Yesterday he rode attentively at Gent-Wevelgem and sprinted to 9th and even though he had hoped for more in the bunch sprint, the performance was a relief for the former world champion.


BMC Racing Team's Thor Hushovd finished ninth Sunday at Gent-Wevelgem after teammates Silvan Dillier and Sebastian Lander figured in breakaways – with Dilier's move only being caught inside the final kilometer. 

Starting in Deinze, the 233-kilometer race included nine milestone climbs, including two ascents each of the Casselberg, Baneberg, Monteberg and the Kemmelberg.

Lander was joined in the long breakaway of the day by Marcel Aregger (IAM Cycling), Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo), Jacobus Venter (MTN-Qhubeka) and Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty-Groupe Gobert). The escapees started to split up as the climbs took their toll and the last of them was brought back with 35 km to go.

Silvan Dillier, who was a late addition to the BMC Racing Team's line-up (replacing Daniel Oss), first bridged to a group trying to go clear of the peloton with 57 km to go. Last year's Tour de Normandie winner showed his strength the last time up the Monteberg and eventually attacked the peloton and only Andrey Amador (Movistar) and Stijn Devolder (Trek Factory Racing) could go with him. But after seeing their advantage peak at 35 seconds with 10 km to go, the trio was caught just as it crossed beneath the one-kilometer-to-go kite.

John Degenkolb (Team Giant-Shimano) won a bunch sprint ahead of Arnaud Demare ( and Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling Team) as Hushovd notched his third career top 10 finish.

"(Ninth place) was kind of a relief after a confusing Friday (at E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke) when I had a bad day on the bike," he said. "But first of all, I am happy that we raced well together as a team… Silvan was attacking a couple times and almost made it to the finish. I wish I could have been a little bit better in the sprint – top five – and then maybe I would be really happy. I think today, as a team, we should be really proud of ourselves."

"We tried with 30 km to go, but there were still some sprinters in the peloton," Dillier said. "And they worked for a bunch sprint. I am happy with my condition and we will see how it goes in the future. In the breakaway (with Devolder and Amador) everyone had what they had. Stijn was impressive. And I also gave everything I had, but it was one kilometer too long."

"I think every time I hit the breakaway, it lasts at least 200 kilometers," Lander said. "It is a long day of course. It is always nice to hit the breakaway because it gives a little bit of a break for the team. It was a tough day but I am happy."

"It was one kilometer too long," sports director Valerio Piva said. "But our guys were in the race from the first breakaway and everybody was in good position. It was not a selective race – because there was no wind.


"Dillier was unbelievable and strong. He tried one time in the circuit of the Kemmelberg and then again in the final, he was impressive. The rest behind tried to bring Thor in the sprint. We decided to give the chance to him because normally he's the fastest and Greg had crashed on the descent of the Kemmelberg.


"But I am happy about our performance today. If we continue like this, I am sure we will have a nice victory in the future."

Two riders were involved in significant crashes. Greg Van Avermaet went down on the second descent of the Kemmelberg, while Klaas Lodewyck was involved in a pile-up in the final few hundred meters. Both of them suffered road rash, but no significant injuries, Dr. Spinelli said. 



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