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"With all the luck in the world I managed to avoid the crashes but actually it wasn’t responsible to let this race take place. I was scared on the bike all day."

Photo: ©Kramon






30.03.2015 @ 14:12 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Wanty-Groupe Gobert planned to start Ghent-Wevelgem with the intention to get sprinter Roy Jans as far towards the final in Wevelgem as they possibly could.
However, straight from the start it became clear to Bjorn Leukemans, Roy Jans, Marco Marcato, Frederik Veuchelen, Tom Devriendt, Boris Dron, Mirko Selvaggi and Simone Antonini that this race would not finish in a sprint. The weather circumstances were absolutely horrific.
According to team captain Bjorn Leukemans racing this year’s Ghent-Wevelgem was irresponsible.
"Luckily I did not crash. With all the luck in the world I managed to avoid the crashes but actually it wasn’t responsible to let this race take place. I was scared on the bike all day. Several times I thought about quitting but when Marco (Marcato) and I made it back to the first group, we finished the race as one of only 39 riders.”
Gent-Wevelgem turned out to be a real battlefield. Riders were literally blown off their bikes by the powerful wind in the Moeren region. Many riders crashed and also Wanty-Groupe Gobert had their share of crashes.
"I don’t know how many riders managed to stay on their bikes today but I have seen Roy Jans, Marco Marcato and Mirko Selvaggi on the ground", sports director Hilaire Van der Schueren said.
The question whether it was safe enough to race, turned into a big discussion. Spectators saw a spectacular race but on the other hand teams feared for the safety and health of their riders.
"At one time we really asked ourselves whether we should continue or not. I think it was on the second descent of the Kasselberg that we should have stopped because it was just too dangerous out there,” Van Der Schueren commented.
Tom Devriendt, neo-pro, rode his first Ghent-Wevelgem ever and will remember this day for a long time.
"Honestly I didn’t enjoy this race todat at all. I hadn’t recovered from my first E3-Prijs yet and this Ghent-Wevelgem was tough from the start. I was lucky enough not to crash and that was already a big bonus today,” he declared.
Bjorn Leukemans (21st) en Marco Marcato (27th) were the only riders to make it to the finish for Wanty-Groupe Gobert. Considering the circumstances that was a big feat already.
"We knew it was going to be hard so the fact we finish with two riders in the first group is a positive sign towards the Tour of Flanders. Now it’s time to check out our riders medically because it was a pretty rough day,” Van Der Schueren concludes.



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