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"I have mixed feelings. Just like the past two weeks I’ve proven that I’m good, but I don’t have a top result. Now I’m continuing my preparation for the Ardennes classics.”

Photo: Lotto Soudal










22.03.2015 @ 20:32 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The Lotto Soudal riders rode a really attentive race between Milan and Sanremo. On the Via Roma a group of about twenty-five sprinted for the victory in the 106th edition. Three riders of the team finished in the top fifteen: Tony Gallopin as ninth, Jürgen Roelandts as eleventh and Tim Wellens as fifteenth. German John Degenkolb won. Kris Boeckmans couldn’t defend his chances as he crashed in the descent of the Capo Berta. He has abrasions and hurt a knee, but it seems the damage is not too bad.


Around ten o’clock the riders got on the bike for a race of 293 kilometres. Eleven riders were part of the traditional long breakaway. The peloton gave them a maximal advantage of 10’25”. By the time the riders reached the Capi, they got more nervous. On the Capo Berta, the front group was reduced to four riders. In the descent there was a big setback for Lotto Soudal when Kris Boeckmans crashed and had to abandon.


Lotto Soudal didn’t hide and helped to close the gap. On the Cipressa all escapees were caught. Tim Wellens and Tony Gallopin were riding attentively in the front and reached the top with the first eight riders. In the descent the Frenchman set the pace. Daniel Oss and Geraint Thomas attacked. On the Poggio, Thomas left his companion behind. He reached the top solo, but was caught in the descent. About twenty-five riders rode to the finish line together. John Degenkolb was the fastest on the Via Roma. Alexander Kristoff was second, Michael Matthews third. Tony Gallopin was the first Lotto Soudal rider, on place nine.


“I had a good feeling during the race," Gallopin said. "We were strong as a team and had different riders who could play a role. On the Cipressa and Poggio we could attack, after the Poggio we would see if we still had a sprinter with us. That wasn’t the case.


"Just before the end of the Poggio descent I wanted to attack, but I realized it would be too difficult with the sprint teams that were getting organized. The sprint didn’t go smoothly for me. I got hindered twice, so I had to accelerate again each time.


"I have mixed feelings. Just like the past two weeks I’ve proven that I’m good, but I don’t have a top result. Now I’m continuing my preparation for the Ardennes classics.”


“We end up with three riders in the top fifteen," manager Marc Sergeant said. "It shows we were strong, but there’s no high ranking. We could have been really satisfied with someone in top five. We shouldn’t blame anyone.


"André Greipel lost contact on the Poggio and we lost Kris Boeckmans because of his crash. That was a pity, if he could go to the finish with the first group a top five would have been possible.


"There were positive signs. Gallopin rode a strong race and Roelandts proved he’s ready for the Flemish spring classics. Tim Wellens rode Milan-Sanremo for the first time. It obviously suits him. He was in front on the Cipressa and Poggio. This is positive for the future.”



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