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"This is my first success in the pros so inevitably, it is even more beautiful. It is very encouraging for the next races. I will be keen to show that it was not a fluke," Vanbilsen tells Directvelo

Photo: Sirotti

GRAND PRIX CYCLISTE LA MARSEILLAISE

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KENNETH VANBILSEN

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SPORT VLAANDEREN - BALOISE

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03.02.2014 @ 16:23 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Kenneth Vanbilsen (Topsport Vlaanderen) proved that he is a rising sprint star when he beat big names like John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) and Bryan Coquard (Europcar) to win the GP La Marseillaise in a sprint finish. Having taken his first professional win, the youngster is now eager to show that the win was no fluke.

 

At the end of last season - his first as a professional with Topsport Vlaanderen - Kenneth Vanbilsen gave solid indications that he can become a great sprinter in the future when he sprinted to three top 10 results against some of the best in the world in the Tour de l'Eurometropole. Yesterday he again confirmed his potential when he won the first race of the European season, the GP La Marseillaise.

 

Vanbilsen survived the many climbs that littered the 139km course and benefited from the hard work of the major teams who made sure that it all came down to a sprint finish. While all eyes were on John Degenkolb and Bryan Coquard, it was Vanbilsen who shot ahead to take a surprise win.

 

"I am very happy with this victory in the first race of the season," he told Directvelo. "I want to thank my teammates. They have done a tremendous job for me throughout the race."

 

Vanbilsen rode one year each with continental teams Donckers Koffie and An Post - Sean Kelly before earning himself a contract with Topsport Vlaanderen. He is now eager to prove that he belongs to the pro ranks.

 

"This is my first success in the pros so inevitably, it is even more beautiful," he said. It is very encouraging for the next races. I will be keen to show that it was not a fluke. You had to be tough to be in front in the finale. 

 

On Wednesday Vanbilsen will get his first chance to do so when he lines up at the 5-day Etoile de Besseges.

 

"I will continue with the Etoile de Bessèges from Wednesday," he said. " I hope to win a stage." 

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