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“My legs weren’t as good as in Milan-Sanremo. I was eleventh there while I had better legs. I already felt it early in the day and tried to save energy."

Photo: Lotto Soudal

E3 HARELBEKE

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JURGEN ROELANDTS

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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TIESJ BENOOT

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28.03.2015 @ 13:32 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Jürgen Roelandts was the first Lotto Soudal rider at the finish of E3 Harelbeke, on the seventh place. Together with Tiesj Benoot, who rode a strong race again, he was part of a group that sprinted for the third place. Three of their teammates were involved in a crash.

 

With Sean De Bie in front a Lotto Soudal rider was part of the early breakaway. De Bie was accompanied by five other riders, among them Dries Devenyns. The leaders had a maximal advantage of more than nine minutes, also because the peloton had to wait at a closed railway crossing.

 

On the cobbles of the Haaghoek there was a big crash. Gert Dockx and Vegard Breen were involved and abandoned the race. Dockx has a bruised tailbone. Breen broke his elbow on two places and will undergo surgery tonight. The Norwegian will be out for several weeks. Later in the race also Dennis Vanendert crashed, he bruised his left elbow and shoulder.

 

Like often is the case, the Taaienberg was a sign for the peloton to start racing. Tiesj Benoot, who rode a strong race again just like in Dwars door Vlaanderen, was one of the riders that accelerated. On the Paterberg Devenyns left his last two companions behind, one of them was Sean De Bie.

 

On the Oude Kwaremont Devenyns was passed by Sagan, Stybar and Thomas. This trio would contest the victory of E3 Harelbeke. The chase group with Benoot and Roelandts couldn’t close the gap. Thomas arrived solo at the finish in Harelbeke. Sagan was reeled in by the chase group at the end and that’s why the group with Benoot and Roelandts sprinted for the third place. Trentin was the fastest. Roelandts finished on the seventh place, Benoot was eighteenth.

 

“Our chase group wasn’t able to close the gap on the leading trio. Eventually we still could sprint for the third place. Three hundred metres from the finish I was riding next to Trentin, but with the headwind I thought it was too early to start sprinting, that turned out to be the wrong decision," Roelandts said.

 

“My legs weren’t as good as in Milan-Sanremo. I was eleventh there while I had better legs. I already felt it early in the day and tried to save energy. On the Kapelberg I wanted to be in front and I succeeded in it, but I couldn’t compete with the best.

 

"Now I have to recuperate for Ghent-Wevelgem. Together with Jens Debusschere and André Greipel we’ll aim for a high result. The strength of team will be very important on Sunday, because bad weather is forecasted.”

 

“It was our goal to have someone in the front group and we did," manager Marc Sergeant said. "Sean De Bie, who has been riding well for some weeks now, was part of the early breakaway. He rode in front until the Paterberg, when Devenyns accelerated. Benoot, this week’s revelation, was strong again. On top of the Kortekeer he changed his front wheel, on the road from Ronse to Oudenaarde he could return to the peloton.

 

“Unfortunately three of the eight guys crashed. Roelandts said he didn’t feel great today. In the decisive moment he didn’t have enough power in the legs to follow the best. The seventh place isn’t a top result. We hope we have a top result in the upcoming races.”

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