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"That Greg Henderson didn't start this race because of illness was immediately bad news for the team. He's an important member of Greipel's train. Now guys like Kenny Dehaes and Fréderique Robert had to take over and...

Photo: Sirotti










28.03.2013 @ 21:05 Posted by Jesper Johannesen

Lotto-Belisol had hoped to get a stage win with sprinter Andre Greipel in the Driedaagse van de Panne, but ended the race empty-handed. With Greg Henderson forfeiting his participation due to illness, the team lost the key rider in Greipel's sprint train and sports director Marc Wauters was satisfied with the way his team his young stepped up even though they failed to obtain the desired result.


Lotto-Belisol had lined up a team in the Driedaagse van de Panne consisting almost purely of fast men able to support Andre Greipel in the expected mass sprints. From the German's usual lead-out train, he was, however, only to be accompanied by Greg Henderson as Jurgen Roelandts and Marcel Sieberg both rested ahead of the Tour of Flanders.


Due to illness, Henderson was unable to take the start, and it left the German with a team mostly consisting of young sprinters without much experience in setting up their star sprinter. The team left the race empty-handed with Kenny Dehaes' 7th place in the morning stage on the final day as their best result.


Dehaes had managed to enter the right break towards the end of the first stage, but he was dropped moments later as the pace picked up. Instead, the team tried to close the gap to set up Greipel, but they failed in their attempt and the German sprinter's victory in the bunch kick only secured him an 11th place.


In the second stage, Dehaes did a huge effort to close a gap to Mark Cavendish, Niko Terpstra, Iljo Keisse and Francesco Chicchi inside the final kilometer, and Greipel was delivered in a perfect position at the front of the peloton. He opened his sprint too early into the headwind and had to settle for 12th.


This morning Greipel chose not to start, as a sore throat had developed overnight. Dehaes was left to fight for himself and took the team's only top 10 result in the final sprint of the morning stage.


Given the circumstances, sports director Marc Wauters was satisfied with the outcome.


"That Greg Henderson didn't start this race because of illness was immediately bad news for the team," he explained. "He's an important member of Greipel's train. Now guys like Kenny Dehaes and Fréderique Robert had to take over and that always takes some time to get used to, although they did a great job. Yesterday Kenny Dehaes did an amazing effort to bridge the gap in the final. Besides, it is a fact that André is always better if the temperatures are higher."


"On day one Kenny Dehaes sat in an escape with big names, he was there as a sprinter, but when there was an acceleration he couldn't hold on to that group. André could win the sprint of the chasers. We missed Henderson that day, because he could have helped to close the gap on the breakaway. Also in today's morning stage our riders sat in a good position again in a nervous final. They worked for Kenny, but in the last hectometers he wasn't in the wheel of Jonas Van Genechten anymore and he became seventh. We had a young team here in the Three Days of De Panne - Koksijde that all things considered did a good job."


The team will now turn its attentions to Jurgen Roelandts in the Tour of Flanders while Greipel will target the Scheldeprijs on Wednesday.



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