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"I’m not as explosive as Gerrans, Gilbert or Valverde. It was my intention to get away with a group with my type of riders before the climb to Ans. From La Roche-aux-Faucons I started riding offensively," Vanendert says

Photo: Sirotti

JELLE VANENDERT

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LIÈGE - BASTOGNE - LIÈGE

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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TIM WELLENS

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27.04.2014 @ 20:52 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having already finished in the top 10 in both of the previosu Ardennes classics, Jelle Vanendert again showed his great condition when he was one of the most aggressive riders in the finale of today's Liege-Bastogne-Liege. However, the race was less selective than usual and this made it impossible for the strong Belgian to avoid his worst scenario of a sprint finish.

 

Jelle Vanendert closed the Ardennes triptych with the eleventh place in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He crossed the finish line in Ans only eight seconds later than winner Simon Gerrans. After the second place in the Amstel Gold Race and sixth place in the Flèche Wallonne he now just fell out of top ten.
 
At ten o’clock the riders left the Place Saint-Lambert in Liège, a quarter of an hour later the official start took place. A front group of six was formed: Bono, Jacobs, Koch, Lang, Minnaard and Venter.
 
The peloton let them go and they got up to 15’45”. Sander Armée controlled the peloton together with a rider of BMC and Movistar.
 
On the Côte de Wanne the first man got dropped; it was over for Minnaard. At the foot of La Redoute, with 46.5 kilometers to go, the leaders had about two and a half minute advantage. Bono reached the top on his own, but in the descent he would get the company of Venter again.
 
In the peloton it stayed quiet for a long time. Tony Gallopin rode well in front. Barguil took his chance and attacked. Arredondo and Bakelants joined him, but the escape wouldn’t last.
 
On the Côte des Forges Bono started another solo. In the background there were lots of movements, also Dennis Vanendert jumped along.
 
Bono got caught in the first meters of the Roche-aux-Faucons. Jelle Vanendert was positioned on the front rows of the bunch in between other favourites like Gilbert and Valverde. It were Arredondo and Pozzovivo who set up a break. Vanendert was attentive the entire time and tried to set up a break. Teammate Tim Wellens was also active in the chase.
 
With eleven kilometers to go a group of about 45 riders reeled in the head duo. Pozzovivo took another chance on the Côte de Saint-Nicolas, the last hill of the day. Together with Giampaolo Caruso he took off. It was only in the steep last kilometer that the chasers bridged the gap.
 
Dan Martin tried to win La Doyenne for the second year in a row, but crashed in the last corner. It was Simon Gerrans who grabbed the victory. The Australian national champion sprinted faster than Alejandro Valverde and Michal Kwiatkowski. At eight seconds Vanendert finished on place eleven.
 
“I’m satisfied with this result, I did everything I could to set a result as good as possible," he said. "In the final I tried to jump away, but you have to get company of the proper riders. There wasn’t any immediate cooperation when I tried to set up a breakaway and behind us there were no hesitations.
 
"I’m not as explosive as Gerrans, Gilbert or Valverde. It was my intention to get away with a group with my type of riders before the climb to Ans. From La Roche-aux-Faucons I started riding offensively. I took the initiative up to seven times. Unfortunately none of the attempts made it to the end.
 
“The front group got over fifteen minutes lead. That means the race stayed closed for longer in the peloton, but the tempo was raised gradually and that made it impossible to break the race open early. It became an elimination.
 
"I’m very satisfied with my performance in the Ardennes classics. I really worked hard for this. I’m glad with my nice results. With the team I will now discuss what my next goals will be.”
 
“In the Amstel Gold Race and Flèche Wallonne I even had a better feeling than today, but I’m definitely satisfied," Wellens said. "In the final I joined several attempts to escape. Last year it was over for me on La Redoute, this time I could finish. I could follow until Saint-Nicolas.
 
"Now I’m tired. I could get experience in the past races, which will come in handy in the future. The Ardennes classics suit me. There are possibilities for me. I hope to achieve the level of Jelle Vanendert.”
 
“The team rode a strong race," manager Marc Sergeant said. "Certainly Jelle and Tim, but also Dennis Vanendert for example. Jelle showed initiative. Because it was a fast race, it was difficult to get away. There were also many hesitations. Jelle did everything he could.
 
"We are definitely satisfied with the hilly classics. The podium was the goal and we reached it in the Brabantse Pijl with the third place of Tony Gallopin and in the Amstel with the second place of Jelle.
 
“There was a development within the team, that is promising for the future. Jelle is again on the level of 2012. Jurgen Van den Broeck had some difficulties, but we have to take into account that it has been a tough period for him. We have to dare to learn to live with the ups and downs, but we believe in the plan we made with him.
 
"In the races before the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad we performed well. There were many victories of André Greipel, but the entire team was strong. The Flemish spring races weren’t good, we ought not to hide behind the bad luck, although the crash of André in Ghent- Wevelgem and the missing out of a top result hurt us as a team.”

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