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"I was isolated in front, while there were as many as three duos on the road together. Had I had a teammate in support, then I would win nine times out of ten. It is a pity."

Photo: OPQS / Tim De Waele






16.09.2015 @ 22:57 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Jan Bakelants (Ag2r) was the big favourite for the GP de Wallonie but had to settle for second.



 "I am disappointed," he told Het Nieuwsblad. "I had a good chance to win, but unfortunately I have to settle for a place of honor. Now I know what it's like to have the role of top favorite. Everyone looks at you. Meanwhile, the others already know where I'm going to attack, so it's hard to surprise. I've tried, but the climbs in this race for my type of rider are not tough enough to make a difference. In the end it was too difficult. I was isolated in front, while there were as many as three duos on the road together. Had I had a teammate in support, then I would win nine times out of ten. It is a pity. 


"When Jens went on the attack, I had to gamble. I hoped that Pinot or Vichot would close the gap, but they did not. I did not think Jens would be so strong in a finish that is not his, but he did well and continued to lead. He was clever and you have to be really strong. He is a deserved winner.


"Obviously I'm disappointed. This was a race where I had many chances to win and I do not have that often. I missed that chance now, but well, I can not blame myself. If you see that I won the sprint for second place, then at least it shows that I was in good shape, although I still felt a little jet lag in the legs.


"I would have deserved to win. But the situation was unfavorable to me. I was isolated against three duos (Cofidis, FDJ and Lotto) so I bluffed. Jens Debusschere went, I thought that FDJ would chased, but neither of them did anything. Jens directly got a good lead and I immediately understood that it was complicated to win. Today, I lost. But I can not have any regrets. Other teams have missed an opportunity to win. Jens won in terrain that is not his, so congratulations to him. Given my current state of form, I think the finale was not hard enough for me. I have never been so strong at this time of the season. 


"I will not lie, I would have liked to participate in the World Championships. On the other hand, I will not criticize the decision of Carlo [Bomans]. His job is not easy. The course is not ideal for me, with barely 1600 meters of climbing in 260km. But guys like Jurgen Roelandts was very strong in Canada. And Jens Debusschere, who won in terrain that is not his, can have even more regrets. I now turn to the Tour of Lombardy where I really hope to try my luck.


"On the one hand, I regret not to be in Richmond and that's a disappointment. On the other hand, I understand the decision of the coach. He does not have an easy task and we'll also go with a strong selection to Richmond. I could have done my work for the team I think. It is a course that is not mine but it will probably be an open race and I can always be useful. In any case I have proved in Montreal and here that I'm doing well. I now hope to carry that form through to the Tour of Lombardy.



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