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"The rest of the guys did a good job until the finale and Nicki constantly fell in and out of the group of favorites and showed a lot of heart out there knowing that he was the last man standing on the team," De Jongh says

Photo: Sirotti








06.04.2014 @ 19:28 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tinkoff-Saxo lined up a two-pronged attack for today's Tour of Flanders but the team had unbelievable luck 50km from the race when a crash took out both Daniele Bennati and Matti Brechel. Instead, it was left to Nicki Sørensen to coe away with the goods and the veteran impressed everyone by taking 13th in his first ever participation in the race.


There are 259 kilometers from Brugge to Oudenaarde and the stretch takes you through an unbelievably hilly landscape in Flanders – perfect if you want to create one of the biggest one-day races on the calendar counting 17 steep climbs and most of them cobbled – welcome to Ronde van Vlaanderen.
Tinkoff-Saxo started the race with Daniele Bennati and Matti Breschel as captains and the guys to protect and support. And they were being taken care of during this year’s edition of Tour of Flanders which was remarkably marred by series of crashes and no one could have prevented both Bennati and Breschel from crashing with only 50 kilometers to go.
Entering the finale, a group consisting of “the usual suspects”, Fabian Cancellara (Trek Racing), Tom Boonen, Niki Terpstra (Omega-Pharma Quick Step) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale) broke clear while race debutant, Tinkoff-Saxo Dane Nicki Sørensen fought heroically to hang on to them. This group was chasing a front duo, Stijn Vandenbergh (Omega-Pharma Quick Step) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC).
But on Kwaremont, Fabian Cancellara (Trek) decided to light things up and jumped away from the group but with a special passenger on the backseat, Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin) who also followed him in last year’s finale in Paris-Roubaix. They were now punching away towards the final climb, Paterberg and the front duo.
It was now the quartet against Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and Niki Terpstra (Omega-Pharma Quick Step) who were chasing from behind. With 3 kilometers to go, they started attacking each other as the chasers weren’t able to bridge the gap. And in a very unusual Ronde van Vlaanderen finish, Cancellara managed to outsprint his followers to take his third win of the race.
Tinkoff-Saxo Dane, Nicki Sørensen finished 13th in his first Ronde van Vlaanderen.
“Of course, I’m really impressed by Nicki who stepped up in a big way after both Benna and Matti crashed out of the race,” said DS Steven De Jongh after the race. "The rest of the guys did a good job until the finale and Nicki constantly fell in and out of the group of favorites and showed a lot of heart out there knowing that he was the last man standing on the team. As far as we know, they (Bennati & Breschel) haven’t suffered any fractures."



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