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“It was very good to have Fränk in the race. He needed some rhythm after missing out on the Tour de Suisse.  He also raced another smaller race in Belgium yesterday," Demol says

Photo: Sirotti








25.06.2014 @ 22:35 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having crashed out of the Tour de Suisse, Franck Schleck is in desperate need for racing kilometres. Hence, he was a late inclusion in the Trek team for today's sprint race Halle-Ingooigem in which his teammate Boy Van Poppel finished in the top 10.


The 200-kilometer race, in its 67th edition, resulted in a customary bunch sprint, which saw FDJ rider Arnaud Démare outkick Kris Boeckmans (Lotto-Belisol) and Michael Van Staeyen (Topsport Vlaanderen) at the line to win the UCI 1.1 race.


Trek Factory Racing pulled Danny van Poppel from starting late Tuesday after it was announced the young Dutch sprinter had made the nine-man roster for the Tour de France.  The team opted to give Danny, 20, additional rest ahead of the esteemed Grand Tour, which starts July 5th.


Alternately, Fränk Schleck raced Halle-Ingooigem Wednesday, a race clearly ill suited to his talents, but lacking race miles after crashing out of the Tour de Suisse in the first road stage, he lined up for what is well known to be a sprinter's race. Fränk also participated in a small Belgium race on Tuesday, effectively completing both events and keeping the rubber side down as he prepares for the upcoming Tour de France.


“It was very good to have Fränk in the race," sports director Dirk Demol. "He needed some rhythm after missing out on the Tour de Suisse.  He also raced another smaller race in Belgium yesterday. What was important was that he stayed out of trouble. It was also a good race for our guys [Jasper Stuyven and Kristof Vandewalle] who are re-starting after a break as they begin the second part of their seasons.”


Five riders formed the principal breakaway and were away for most of the 200-kilometer stage. The course ended with five local circuits of 18 kilometers and on the last go-round Jasper Stuyven, never one to sit idle in a home country race, attacked with Sep Vanmarcke. The move proved unsuccessful; in the end FDJ, a constant force at the front, organized it perfectly for a mass sprint finish.


“Five men were out there all day and it was controlled by FDJ," Demol said. "Démare finished off the hard work by his team. Boy did well to finish top 10. On the last lap Jasper and Vanmarcke tried a duo attack, but no success. Overall a good day by the boys, they all raced well.”



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