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However after braking for Henderson, I had to hit the brakes again when Nacer Bouhanni steered into the barriers. I didn't even get to do my sprint today. A missed chance."

Photo: Sirotti




02.03.2015 @ 01:36 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Wanty-Groupe Gobert had two strong sprinting aces in the team today in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne with Roy Jans and Danilo Napolitano. The race in West-Flanders did indeed end in a bunch kick but before that moment, Frederik Backaert had already shown the team's colors proudly in the day's breakaway. 

It took a while before the break of the day took off. "It was actually just like last year," Backaert explains. "I think we had done about 38 kilometres, just before Oudenaarde. I went from the start and kept trying and trying until one of my attacks proved to be the decisive move." 

At 60 kilometres from the line, the breakaway was already caught by a group of 19 riders with Mark Cavendish and four of his Etixx-Quick Step teammates. Backaert didn't see any of his own teammates in this group and because of all the hard work in the breakaway he got dropped from the lead fast. 

“We were doing well in the race and had another guy in the day's breakaway but on the Côte de Trieu there was a crash," DS Hilaire Van Der Schueren explains about why there weren't any of the team's riders in the first group.

“Almost all our guys were implemented in that crash. They didn't hit the deck but they were behind it. When there was this attack on the Oude Kwaremont we were too far back and couldn't make it to the lead group of 19."

In the chasing peloton MTN-Qhubeka, Cofidis and Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise worked hard. The almost full Wanty-Groupe Gobert team was in this peloton and joined the chase. Marco Marcato, Mirko Selvaggi, Roy Jans, Simone Antonini, James Vanlandschoot, Frederik Veuchelen and Backaert fought hard for to retrieve the lead group. 

After the last of the day's climbs the peloton really started to work well together and the gap went down fast. At the first finish crossing they had caught the lead group back. At 32 kilometres from the line the seven mentioned Wanty-Groupe Gobert were all in the main peloton.

Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne would end in a bunch kick as expected. Roy Jans was kept well at the front and out of the wind by his teammates. In the final 500 metres he chose the wheel of Tom Van Asbroeck (LottoNL-Jumbo) but the sprint didn't go as planned. 

“I really had to hit the brakes hard when Greg Henderson (Lotto-Soudal) steered clear after his lead-out for Jens Debusschere. In Van Asbroeck's wheel I did start the final straight line to the finish well. The team had done great work and Marcato was with me untill the final kilometre. However after braking for Henderson, I had to hit the brakes again when Nacer Bouhanni steered into the barriers. I didn't even get to do my sprint today. A missed chance," Jans declared.

Jans finished 20th and was the best of the team today. Wednesday is the first opportunity to redeem himself in the GP Samyn. 



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