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“When the top riders broke loose at Haaghoek our riders had to pass. I don’t blame any of them, it was just how it was. Of course we would have liked to set a better result, but this young team performed well as a whole."

Photo: Lotto Soudal

JENS DEBUSSCHERE

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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OMLOOP HET NIEUWSBLAD

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28.02.2015 @ 20:18 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The first Belgian race of 2015 is over. Ian Stannard was the best in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, just like last year. Lotto Soudal rider Sean De Bie was part of the front group when he had chain problems. Jens Debusschere crossed the finish line as twelfth, the first rider of the Lotto Soudal team.

 

 

Sean De Bie bridged to a front group of six together with Albert Timmer. Because of chain problems he fell behind when they covered the cobblestones at Haaghoek for the first time today. Seventy kilometres further the Kruisberg was the start of the final. At the top Stig Broeckx jumped away. Sky controlled the bunch at that point, chasing the front group, and soon Broeckx waited. On the Taaienberg the battle could really start in the peloton. There were five Lotto Soudal riders in the pack: Tiesj Benoot, Stig Broeckx, Jens Debusschere, Pim Ligthart and Marcel Sieberg. The escapees were all reeled in with 45 kilometres to go.

 

The last time at Haaghoek teammates Boonen, Terpstra and Vandenbergh took off with Ian Stannard. Pim Ligthart was the first rider of Lotto Soudal, but he couldn’t join them. Vanmarcke and Van Avermaet – with Stybar in their wheel – tried to close the gap, but didn’t succeed. In a sprint of two Ian Stannard beat Niki Terpstra. Belgian champion Jens Debusschere was the first Lotto Soudal rider today. He sprinted to the fourth place of a group of 34 and finished twelfth at almost five minutes.

 

“When we covered the cobbles at Haaghoek for the second time I was just behind a crash," Debusschere said. "It wasn’t a decisive moment yet, but it did cost me energy to close the gap on the first part of the peloton. On the Kruisberg we were well positioned with the team. On the Molenberg, the last climb of the day, I had to brake because of a move of another rider. So I couldn’t even try to join the chase with Vanmarcke or Gilbert. The last twenty kilometres the peloton dropped the pace, I wanted to do my best to still get a nice result.”

 

 

“Our riders did what we had asked them," sports director Herman Frison said. "If a front group of four or more would get away someone of our team should join them. Sean De Bie closed the gap on a break of six. Unfortunately he had mechanical problems. He had to continue on a bike from the neutral car for a while.

 

 

“Our riders were well positioned to start the Kruisberg, the start of the final. At that point we had five riders in the peloton. After the Kruisberg Stig Broeckx attacked, but it wasn’t the perfect moment as Sky took control of the bunch. That’s why Stig soon waited for the others. But I prefer someone who takes the initiative and tries then that we all hang at the back.

 

 

“When the top riders broke loose at Haaghoek our riders had to pass. I don’t blame any of them, it was just how it was. Of course we would have liked to set a better result, but this young team performed well as a whole. De Bie and Broeckx attacked and Benoot did well in his first Omloop as a pro. Ligthart and Debusschere raced attentively. Tomorrow is another day, with Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.”

 

Selection Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne:

Lars Bak, Kris Boeckmans, Stig Broeckx, Jens Debusschere, Gert Dockx, Greg Henderson, Pim Ligthart and Marcel Sieberg.

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