Report: Brits on the Attack in Belgium


British riders light up the Le Samyn semi classic in Belgium but the win goes to Alexey Tsatevich of Katusa

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Luke Rowe and Geraint Thomas both went in search of victory in the Le Samyn semi classic in Belgium but the victory went to Katusha’s Alexey Tsatevich. It was another win for the Katusha Team in Belgium with the victory by Alexey Tsatevich coming less than a week after Luca Paolini in ‘Omloop Het Nieuwsblad’.

Tsatevich was the fastest to the finish of “Le Samyn” after a late attack by both British Champion Ian Stannard and Geraint Thomas failed to bring the much awaited British victory. For the young Russian rider, this was his first professional win.


The race was dominated by an early breakaway with Elias Van Breussegem (Doltcini-Flanders), Luke Rowe (above, Sky) and Thomas Sprengers (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise) who were able to gain five minutes over the main group.

With 50 kilometers to go, Rowe decided to go solo and afterwards said on twitter “Good day out front in the break at Samyn today, always nice to get in a break. Lights went out with 20km to go”. His solo move was neutralized with 12 kilometres to go but no sooner had he been caught, his teammates went on the attack.

Geraint Thomas and Ian Stannard counter attacked and were followed by Gert Ian Lindeman (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Ignatas Konovalovas (MTN – Qhubeka). With a few kilometres to go, Thomas like Rowe before him, decided he could go faster on his own and went solo. He managed to stay clear until there was only a few kilometres left.

It was looking like a bunch kick but Tsatevich and a Europecar rider took a flyer when the peloton was already full gas. While the Europecar rider didn’t have the legs to hold the wheel of Tsatevich in the closing few hundred metres, the Russian carried on and while many riders tried to close the gap, the Katusha rider was too strong and held on to win with second place going to Kris Boeckmans (Vacansoleil-DCM), followed by Adrien Petit (Cofidis).

The British challenge in the sprint came from the Circuit Race Champion Scott Thwaites who was an excellent 7th for NetApp-Endura. “Today we were aiming to ride for the sprint for Roger Kluge and managed to get three riders into the finale” sai NetApp-Endura’s DS. “Unfortunately, Roger’s legs just gave out in the final kilometre but Scott Thwaites, whom we had set aside as the last man for Roger, reacted immediately and still had the power to sprint.”

“Scott really put in a great performance. Back in Argentina he got noticed with some good results, and today he has proven his strong form once again. This and the team’s overall performance give us reason to be optimistic,” Jens Heppner said after the race.

Video of the Finish

“I am really happy that I won today” said Tsatevich. “The team gave me a chance to try today, the whole race was done around me and I am thankful for that. I am happy, that I was able to realize the wish of the team to win today. I came to Belgium a little bit earlier than other members of Katusha, so I had some more days to train.”

“That was one of the key moments for today’s success. In the final part of the race, I said to the team that I am ok and can try, so, my teammates did all possible to help me and to provide an ideal position in the finish. I was waiting for the massive sprint, but a rider from Europcar attacked before it. I took his wheel and was able to save the energy. In the last meters I started my sprint to win. I am happy to get first Russian victory for Katusha this year. Now, my next race is Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen”.

1. TSATEVITCH Alexey Katusha
2. BOECKMANS Kris Vacansoleil – DCM
3. PETIT Adrien Cofidis
4. DEHAES Kenny Lotto Belisol Team
5. SBARAGLI Kristian Team MTN Qhubeka
6. BAZZANA Alessandro
7. Scott Thwaites, NetApp-Endura

36. Ian Stannard Sky Procycling
78.  Geraint Thomas Sky Procycling
79. Jonny McEvoy Team NetApp – Endura
100. Erick Rowsell Team NetApp – Endura @ 3:11


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