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"There was really no good cooperation. If all 10 riders had really wanted it, we would have stayed away. I do not understand it. If you can finish in the top 10, then you want to do that, won't you?" Leukemans asks

Photo: Feltet.dk

BJÖRN LEUKEMANS

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BRABANTSE PIJL

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CIRCUS-WANTY GOBERT

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16.04.2014 @ 20:11 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having already finished 2nd and 3rd in the race, Bjorn Leukemans (Wanty) again played a key role in today's Brabantse Pijl semi-classic. The Belgian animated the finale by being the strongest rider in a 10-rider breakaway but after sprinting to a fifth place finish, he was frustrated by the lack of coopetation in the group.

 

Bjorn Leukemans is the only rider in the entire peloton who does the full classics schedule from Dwars Door Vlaanderen to Liege-Bastogne-Liege and he is so skilled that he is even a contender in all the races in that period. Having already animated the cobbled races with a top 10 at the Tour of Flanders and a top 20 at Paris-Roubaix, he was maybe the stronngest rider in today's Brabantse Pijl.

 

The Belgian was the main driving force in an excellent late breakaway that also included the likes of Simon Gerrans, Mauro Finetto and Nathan Haas but the Wanty leader was clearly doing most of the work. The lack of cooperation spelled the end for the group 12km from the finish which left Leukemans very frustrated. Nonetheless, he proved his excellent condition by taking fifth in the tough uphill sprint.

 

"I gambled and I lost. And this is not the first time," he told Het Nieuwsblad. "There was really no good cooperation. If all 10 riders had really wanted it, we would have stayed away. I do not understand it. If you can finish in the top 10, then you want to do that, won't you?

 

"When we were caught, it was mentally difficult to prepare for the sprint. But I saw none of my teammates and did my best. It was good enough for fifth."

 

With his strong performance, Leukemans has marked himself out as a dangerous outsider for the Amstel Gold Race.

 

"It may be that they are ready with the hammer in the Amstel Gold Race but we will see," he said, referring to his heavy race schedule. "Last year I finished in the top ten. So I still have a chance."

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