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“We did terribly well. We changed the dynamic of the race. Our acceleration with 80 kilometres to go proved decisive. That was real teamwork. The guys in the pack were professional neutralizing the peloton," Verhoeven says

Photo: Belkin Pro Cycling Team










02.03.2014 @ 20:22 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Belkin proved that they are a major powerhouse in the cobbled classics when the team helped split the peloton in today's Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and put three riders in the decisive 10-rider group. In the end, they had to settle for 2nd and 3rd but the team remained proud of their effort and admitted to having been beaten by a better rider.


Team Belkin took the bull by the horns Sunday in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and it paid off. Moreno Hofland nearly beat Tom Boonen in a sprint for the victory and finished second. Sep Vanmarcke, who ended up fourth in yesterday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, crossed the line third to give Belkin Pro Cycling Team two riders on the final podium. 

Hofland punched his handlebars on his bike in frustration right after the finish, but quickly realised he’d ridden a very strong race.


“When Boonen beats you, you don’t have to be ashamed of yourself, but immediately after a race it’s not very pleasant, of course,” said Hofland. “A few moments later I realised what I had done. Tom Boonen is not just another rider.”


Hofland came up short by less than a wheel to Boonen in the sprint. With a bit of luck, the Dutchman might have defeated the veteran Belgian.   “It went from left to right in the sprint and, when Boonen accelerated, I was boxed in a bit.” 

Hofland also lost some energy because he took his pulls in the break. There was no other option, said Vanmarcke.


“In the last 15 kilometres, Moreno was able to save some energy, but before that, there was no way that he could just sit and wait for a sprint. The peloton could have caught us, especially because Van Summeren and Lampaert were all by themselves in our break and didn’t work at all.” 


Vanmarcke also fought for the win for the second day in a row after his fourth place in yesterday’s Omloop. After ‘Kuurne,’ the Belgian admitted that he would have loved to win one of the weekend's races, but he was proud of the teamwork.

“If you race to win, you cannot be satisfied easily. I was close on both occasions, but I’d really hoped to win at least one. As a team we rode two great races," said Vanmarcke. "We accomplished almost everything we wanted to. Now we know how we need to do it, and we have gained a lot of confidence. We have to build on this. Hopefully, I can get in the mix in the next classic races as well.” 


Nico Verhoeven was a proud man after Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. The Sports Director said Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM took the initiative and showed courage. 

“We can be proud of what we’ve done,” said Verhoeven. “We did terribly well. We changed the dynamic of the race. Our acceleration with 80 kilometres to go proved decisive. That was real teamwork. The guys in the pack were professional neutralizing the peloton. If you end up losing to a very strong Boonen, you have to be satisfied. We were beaten in a fair way, and that feels a lot better than what happened yesterday, with Lars Boom and his puncture.”

Jetse Bol and Barry Markus crashed during Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, but the two youngsters were not seriously injured.


“They’re okay,” stated Verhoeven.



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