De Panne: Win for Mark Cavendish


Omega Pharma – Quick-Step get behind theor man Cavendish to help him win stage 2 of the Three Days of DePanne in Belgium

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Team Press Release

2013 3 Days De Panne 2 - ArrivalCavendish Tim De Waele

Photo: OPQS/Tim de Waele

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team took control of the front of the peloton in the final kilometres of the 204.2km Stage 2 of Driedaagse Van De Panne-Koksijde, putting all riders on the front, including champion Tom Boonen, giving everything for thier sprinter, Britain’s Mark Cavendish.

However, with just 1km to go, Iljo Keisse and Niki Terpstra — driving with every ounce of energy they had left into a headwind — were left with the responsibility of leading out Cavendish. Despite the challenging situation, they pulled so hard for the Manx Missile they opened up a gap with only one rider able to stay on the wheel of Cavendish.

As the race came back together for the final, and sprinters such as Francesco Chicchi (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia), Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol), Elia Viviani (Cannondale), and Arnaud Demare (FDJ) loomed, Cavendish launched up the right side from several hundred meters out. Terpstra put in a tremendous effort as the final leadout man and whilst he and his team fell a little short of delivering Cavendish to the sweetspot, Cavendish found other wheels to launch off.

Cavendish went on to win the bunch sprint from long distance, with Viviani 2nd and Chicchi 3rd. This is the 18th win, in three disciplines, for OPQS in 2013. The day also saw Liverpool’s Matt Brammeier one of the stars of the day getting into the days break off the front until the final throws of the dice nearing the finishing circuit.

2013 3 Days De Panne Podium CavendishTim De Waele

Photo: OPQS/Tim de Waele

“I didn’t feel that great actually earlier on in the day,” Cavendish said. “We talked this morning about doing what we can do to dig in for a bunch sprint. Halfway through I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can do it today.’ I didn’t feel great, but as the finish grew near we just kind of got to the front. It wasn’t even spoken about. We were just doing it, like we were going for the sprint.”

“Everyone stayed in the front and as you could see, the last lap was incredibly fast all together. The guys were in great form to not just do fast pulls, but really long pulls as well at the end. That just put me in position for the final corner. I wanted to be two or three back out of the last corner and that is exactly where I was. So, I was really, really happy. With one kilometre to go, I just sat there waiting, waiting, waiting.”

“I wanted to go at 450 meters really. I felt the sprint going early on my left, so I had to kick out earlier than normal. In a headwind, if you kick out too hard you die out and riders come from behind. So I didn’t go full gas. I just kept accelerating and accelerating as guys were coming through.”

“The team was phenomenal for me today,” Cavendish continued. “Big pulls at the end and it was a hard finish. I’m really happy. The guys had to go long just because of the wind. We wanted to keep it lined out in that last big road, and then we had to use guys to try and get to the corner before the small road at 450 meters to go. Iljo and Niki had to take some big, big pulls. But they were really strong and I am really proud of them.”

“One of the biggest stars who has ever been in cycling, he’s one of the guys who has got the most faith in me,” Cavendish said of Tom Boonen, who did plenty of work setting up the leadout and chasing down breaks earlier in the race.

Video of the closing stages

“That’s incredible. I spoke to Tom last night, and I said ‘It really means a lot that you’re here.’ It’s the first time we’ve raced to a final together this year, as at Gent-Wevelgem he crashed out. But seeing the confidence he had in me yesterday, and I mean all the guys as well, it’s really nice.”

“I spoke to them last night about that and you’ve seen the same again today. These guys are flying. It could be easy for them to take their own opportunity to win races here in Belgium. But they’re committed to the new guy on the team and it means a lot to me. I am so happy for the commitment from all the guys. Some guys thought we were going for the sprint yesterday.”

“It couldn’t be further from the truth. Yesterday’s stage has never, ever finished in a bunch sprint. We were going for our GC guys, and I was there to help. I’m happy they were able to turn around and help me today. So we’re in good position. We’ve won a stage and we’re still up there in the GC. We’re looking forward to the final day.”

Boonen also took some time to talk about the race and his condition. He will not take the start tomorrow. “I’m very happy about the victory of Mark, he deserves it and the team supported him very well today,” Boonen said. “Concerning me, it was a ‘good day at the office’.” After the race I did 30 minutes on the hometrainer just to relax the muscles after the race. The knee is quite good, even if it hurts a bit when I am full gas. But I can live with it. Now It’s important to recover well at home in the next 24 hours and on Friday I will join the rest of the team to get into the mood of the race. I wish to the guys here in De Panne all the best for tomorrow. I’m sure they can get again good results.”

Stage 2

1 CAVENDISH Mark Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 4:46:57
2 VIVIANI Elia Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
3 CHICCHI Francesco Vini Fantini @ st
4 DEMARE Arnaud Equipe Cycliste FDJ @ st
5 KRISTOFF Alexander Katusha Team @ st
6 PLANCKAERT Baptiste Crelan-Euphony @ st
7 FEILLU Romain Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
8 JARC Blaz Team NetApp – Endura @ st
9 ARNDT Nikias Team Argos – Shimano @ st
10 VAN ASBROECK Tom Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise @ st

12 GREIPEL Andre Lotto Belisol Team @ st
13 NAPOLITANO Danilo – Wanty @ st
17 FERRARI Roberto Lampre – Merida @ st
18 CIOLEK Gerald Team MTN Qhubeka @ st
20 CHAVANEL Sylvain Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
73 BRAMMEIER Matthew Champion System Pro Cycling Team @ 8 seconds @ st
88 KEISSE Iljo Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 00:54
89 BOONEN Tom Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 00:58
99 DEMPSTER Zakkari Team NetApp – Endura @ 1.32
109 SAGAN Peter Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 3:01 @ st
113 VOSS Paul Team NetApp – Endura @ st
119 O’GRADY Stuart Orica GreenEDGE @ st
139 DOWNING Russell Team NetApp – Endura 09:28

DNF MCNALLY Mark An Post (two crashes!)



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