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"It's difficult then to focus for the sprint, I'm an attacker. Sometimes you think it's going to be 30-40 riders in a sprint, then you see 80 or 90 riders, and that's not easy."

Photo: Sirotti






24.08.2014 @ 20:19 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

With no pure sprinter on the roster, Belkin went into the Vattenfall Cyclassics hoping to shake things up a bit but it proved impossible for Sep Vanmarcke to create a selection. Instead, the Belgian tried his hand in the sprint but had a hard time against the faster riders.


Sep Vanmarcke and his Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM did what they could to try to break up the eventual sprint in the Vattenfall Cyclassics today, but were not able to and had to settle for a 12th place in Hamburg via Vanmarcke behind winner Alexander Kristoff (Katusha).

"I wanted to attack, but it's difficult in this race, you always know that they are going to come back from behind for the sprint," Vanmarcke said. "It's difficult then to focus for the sprint, I'm an attacker. Sometimes you think it's going to be 30-40 riders in a sprint, then you see 80 or 90 riders, and that's not easy."

Belkin began with the idea of breaking up the race and putting Vanmarcke up the road. If not, they designated Vanmarcke as the sprinter. Against Kristoff, winner of this year's Milano-Sanremo and two stages in the Tour de France, it was a hard task.


"He did well. He was in the wheel of Kristoff with 300 to 400 metres to go, but then they came from behind, and he's not the same explosive sprinter as Kristoff, Tyler Farrar or Mark Cavendish," said Sports Director Frans Maassen.

Maassen had the idea that the team would also work for Lars Boom, but he wanted to focus on the end of his season and did not start the 245.9-kilometre race. Instead Dennis van Winden took the line with Belkin's other seven riders. 

"A long break with three riders worked free," continued Maassen, "but there were good pulls from the sprinters' teams. They closed the gap then a small attack with five riders went, but they never got more than 20 seconds. You could say the sprint teams controlled it well today."

Vanmarcke had about five riders with him for the sprint, including Tom Leezer who did the final leg work leading to the line.


"It went okay, it's a difficult race when you don't have a top sprinter," said Maassen."With Sep, we tried to get on the podium or close behind. He wasn't in a bad position, but it was difficult to reach the top five in a race like this with the sprinters here."



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