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“One has to remain realistic, so I can be satisfied with this result. Maybe I went a little too early, because I could have waited with the rest, now I spent some energy chasing the break," Leukemans says

Photo: Vacansoleil-DCM






10.04.2013 @ 21:02 Posted by Jesper Johannesen

Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM) was the best of the rest behind Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Philippe Gilbert (BMC) in today's Brabantse Pijl. Up against two much faster riders, the Belgian was satisfied with another podium performance in the semi-classic.


Bjorn Leukemans could not find his best form in the early part of the spring and he was nowhere near his best in the first races cobbled races. Gradually, his condition improved and he was part of the group sprinting for 4th in the Tour of Flanders.


in Sunday's Paris-Roubaix, he was even better and only bad luck prevented him from making the final 13-man selection on the Mons-en-Pevele sector. As one of the very select few to contest both the cobbled and the Ardennes classics, he now hopes to benefit maximally from a rising condition to take some strong results in the hilly one-day races.


Today's third place was a good start and he always knew that it will be difficult to beat the duo of Sagan and Gilbert. However, he wonders whether he wasted too much energy by bridging to the early break much earlier than his fellow pre-race favourites.


“One has to remain realistic, so I can be satisfied with this result," he said. "Maybe I went a little too early, because I could have waited with the rest, now I spent some energy chasing the break.


Leukemans was frustrated to not get a reward for his efforts in Flanders and Roubaix and thus he was happy to finally take a podium place in today's race. He now hopes to continue the upward trend on Sunday in the Amstel Gold Race.


"I'm just very happy that my good condition finalyy gave me a satisfactory result," he said. "In recent races, I was good but that was not reflected in the results. Sunday will be a race that corresponds to my form and style.” 


Early chase

The Vacansoleil team took much of the early responsibility to chase behind the day's early breakaway. Sports director Hilaire Van Der Schueren said that it was a consequence of a failed attempt to carry out the team's pre-race strategy.


“We were hoping to get a guy in the early break, and when we didn’t succeed, Thomas De Gendt, Frederik Veuchelen, Pim Ligthart and Rob Ruijgh gave chase," he explained.


With the important Ardennes classics coming up, he was happy to see Leukemans back to his best. When joined by climbers like Wout Poels, Sergey Lagutin and Thomas De Gendt and classics specialist Marco Marcato, the team has a strong line-up for the hilly races.


“It takes a lot of strength to be able to race at the front in Flanders, Roubaix and this Flèche Brabançonne like Leukemans did," he said ."Our climbers are also pretty fit, so with our solid and unified team we look confidently towards the coming week.”


On Sunday, you can follow the Amstel Gold Race on



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