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“I steered to the left where I maybe shouldn’t have. It was my mistake my teammates crashed."

Photo: ©Kramon

CIRCUS-WANTY GOBERT

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DANILO NAPOLITANO

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DRIEDAAGSE VAN WEST-VLAANDEREN

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MIRKO SELVAGGI

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09.03.2015 @ 01:37 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The Three-Days of West-Flanders ended on a negative note for Wanty-Groupe Gobert. Roy Jans sprinted to seventh place but the Belgian rider was involved in a crash before the final. Danilo Napolitano broke his collarbone and Marco Marcato had to leave the race with a bruised elbow.

“There were road works on the Monteberg,” Jans explains. “The road became smaller and Napolitano ran into an obstacle. I crashed and hurt my back but could continue to race. I did miss the first group and Leukemans, Veuchelen and Dron really worked incredibly hard to bring me back. We didn’t get a lot of support in the chase. When we did come back I couldn’t sprint that well anymore because I was tired from the chase.”

Napolitano did feel guilty towards his teammates who crashed with him. “I steered to the left where I maybe shouldn’t have. It was my mistake my teammates crashed,” the Italian declared from the clinic in Herentals where he’ll undergo surgery on the collar bone tomorrow morning.

“Things could have been better today of course. We lose Napolitano with a collarbone fracture. Marcato has severe bruises on the elbow and also Leukemans is bruised and battered on the thigh after a crash. We had focused on the sprint today because the overall classification was not important anymore. The fact that Roy sprints to seventh after his crash is therefore a good result,” Hilaire Van Der Schueren concludes.

Looking back at the first two stages
In the prologue Boris Dron showed yet again that he has really improved his time trial skills.

“I had hoped for more,” he admits honestly. “I had hoped to do 8,10 which would have been a tenth place but I did 8,17 and finished 26th.”

“I think it’s possible to do a second per kilometre faster. Yes, that is a lot but with specific training it should be possible before the next time trial I am going to do in De Panne. I am taking the CUBE Aerium home and will spend some extra training hours on it,” he concludes.

The first stage with start in Bruges and finish in Harelbeke was an active one. The team tactics were that Wanty-Groupe Gobert would not mix in any breakaways to save for the final and sprint chances of Roy Jans.

“After the Oude Kwaremont we had three riders in the first group,” sports director Steven De Neef says. “Leukemans, Marcato and Jans rode attentively but this group was caught just before the local laps.”

There it was up to Mirko Selvaggi who joined a five-men breakaway. Selvaggi, Lampaert (Etixx-QuickStep), Sander Cordeel (Vastgoedservice), Tosh Van Der Sande (Lotto-Soudal) and Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r-la Mondiale) succesfully defended a small gap on the peloton and prepared to sprint for the stage victory.

“I wasn’t paying attention in the last kilometre. I did want to try something of course but was too late. I am not happy with this result, being fifth in a breakaway of five. However I am pretty happy with my current form ,” Selvaggi declared. 

Roy Jans sprinted to an eighth place and was the second Wanty-Groupe Gobert rider in the top ten of Saturday’s stage.

A selection of the Wanty-Groupe Gobert team will take part in a kermesse race in Wanzele on Wednesday. This weekend two UCI 1.1 races in the Netherlands are on the menu, as well as the Omloop Waasland, a race Danilo Napolitano won in 2014.

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