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"I am very surprised to finish in second place. I did not expect it at all because I was really bad at the beginning of the race. I was dropped on the first climbs. I thought it was going to be bad day," Planckaert says

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BAPTISTE PLANCKAERT

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03.02.2014 @ 16:35 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Baptiste Planckaert (Roubaix) proved himself worthy of his contract with his new team right from the beginning when he sprinted to 2nd in yesterday's GP  La Marseillaise. The result came as a huge surprise for the Belgian who had had a terrible start to the race and never expected such a positive outcome.

 

When Crelan folded at the end of the 2013 season, one of the riders that was left looking for a new team was sprinter Baptiste Planckaert. The Belgian managed to save his career when he signed a contract with the continental Roubaix team but had to step down a level.

 

Yesterday he proved that he still belongs to the professional ranks when he took 2nd in the first race of the French season, the GP La Marseillaise. Having survived the many climbs that littered the course, he was only beaten by Kenneth Vanbilsen (Topsport Vlaanderen) in the sprint.

 

However, he was greatly surprised by the outcome.

 

"I am very surprised to finish in second place," he told Directvelo. "I did not expect it at all because I was really bad at the beginning of the race. I was dropped on the first climbs. I thought it was going to be bad day.

 

"Finally, I found the sensations halfway through the race. I realized on the Gineste [the day's final climb] that I would get a result. I still had the legs. I have no regrets at all. I would have signed for this outcome beforehand."

 

Like most other riders in the race, Planckaert will do the 5-day Etoile de Besseges which starts on Wednesday. However, his long-term objectives are all in his home country.

 

"I will do the Etoile de Besseges next week," he said. "Then I will focus on the Belgian semi-classics. In any case, I have today showed the team that they can trust me."

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