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“It’s very difficult. You are in the front with one of the fastest and strongest riders, but in numbers you have more. You just have to gamble at that point.”

Photo: OPQS / Tim De Waele

E3 HARELBEKE

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NEWS

GENT-WEVELGEM

RACE PROFILE
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NEWS

QUICK-STEP - ALPHA VINYL

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NEWS

STIJN VANDENBERGH

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NEWS
29.03.2014 @ 11:37 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Omega Pharma-Quick Step were disappointed to lose yesterday’s E3 Harelbeke to Peter Sagan (Cannondale) as they had two men in the final selection of four (Geraint Thomas of Sky was the final member of the winning group).

 

“It’s very difficult,” sport director Tom Steels told VeloNews. “You are in the front with one of the fastest and strongest riders, but in numbers you have more. You just have to gamble at that point.”

 

“It was a bit confusing at the beginning because we weren’t allowed to cooperate,” the 6-foot-6 Vandenbergh told reporters. “Then the team ordered me to work with Sagan and Thomas. Then both of us were allowed to work.

 

“We took turns in trying to attack, but there was a mutual interest between Sagan and Thomas. They didn’t talk, there was no deal, but they wanted to keep the group together for the sprint.”

 

“We had a number of setbacks with Tom and Stybar,” Steels said. “Stybar had a puncture. Those two really had some bad luck; even Niki had to come back a few times. The luck was not on our side.”

 

Tom Steels is confident that his team will bounce back on Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem. The last time they came away disappointed from a Cobbled race, this years Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, (where again Terpstra was their best finisher in 5th), they went and put on a superb show in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne with Tom Boonen taking the win and Stijn Vandenbergh (fifth), Guillaume van Keisbluck (seventh), Nikolas Maes (eighth) and Matteo Trentin, ninth, all finishing in the lead group. You wouldn’t put it past OPQS to do the same when the race arrives in Wevelgem.

 

“We gave them a fight today. We always like to win, of course, but we were there and we were one of the strongest team. We didn’t win — it’s a disappointment — but if you see what they did, then we can go home with a good feeling,” Steels said. “We are there always and you always need some luck to win. We are there; we are able to win, able to make the battle. We hope Tom has fewer setbacks. If he had been in the front it would’ve been a totally different game.”

 

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