Team News – Stybar 2nd to Thomas in E3


Etixx – Quick-Step rider Zdenek Stybar finished 2nd to Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), who attacked Stybar and Peter Sagan in the E3 classic

RST Cycle  Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Team News – Stybar 2nd to Thomas in E3

Etixx – Quick-Step Press Release
The three riders went away on the Oude Kwaremont, with Thomas leading the acceleration and Stybar on his wheel. Sagan soon bridged, and they passed Dries Devenyns (IAM Cycling) who was the last rider who remained ahead out of an original six-rider breakaway. They held their advantage and eventually decided the race.


Pic:  Etixx – Quick-Step/Tim De Waele

Matteo Trentin finished 3rd to round out the podium out of the group that finished behind Thomas winning solo, and Stybar in 2nd about 25″ down. Sagan had lost contact and was caught by the Trentin group before the group sprinted to the line.

Etixx – Quick-Step kept several riders in the group behind Stybar, and put themselves in good position going into the key point of the race before Stybar went off the front with his two break mates. “The team worked perfectly for me today,” Stybar said. “My teammates brought me to the front going into the Oude Kwaremont. The group was pretty together at that point, so we knew something would happen then and for sure some guys would ride away”.

“Thomas went, I took over on the Kwaremont, and on the top we were ahead with only three. We immediately found a good rhythm together. The last 15 kilometers were really hard, it was all headwind. But OK, we were riding well with maybe some energy left in reserves”.

“I think it was possible for us to speed up if the peloton came closer. With four kilometers to go, Thomas went. He went really fast and Sagan didn’t really react. I hesitated for maybe two seconds too long and the race was over. I was very disappointed in that moment because I felt I could win today”.

“But it is what it is. That’s cycling. I’m happy with my podium place and have to think about the upcoming races. I’m also encouraged that Matteo was able to win the sprint behind me. It shows we have a strong team that is always in the actions and can do well in different situations of the Classics.”

“I think we did a great job,” Sport Director Tom Steels said. “The team still had five riders in the main group and the other three had to work during the race. So, those who had to be there were there, at the moment there was an acceleration, we were there. We never missed an important breakaway and in the end we had Stybar as one of the leaders in the front. So, I think we did a good job between the riders protecting the advantage of Stybar in the front and then we won the sprint of the chasing group”.

“Overall I think the team executed well today. We expected Stybar to try and be in front today and he did it. Stybar is a guy who won Strade Bianche and he had a good performance at Tirreno-Adriatico. He is ready for this period as demonstrated today, so things are perfect. It’s a shame Tom isn’t here of course. In his place for the guy we saved for the sprint it was Matteo, and he won the field sprint behind against some top sprinters. I think this is important for his confidence, and also the confidence of the team, that we have a rider who can contest the victory from a bunch sprint. E3 Harebleke will be important for our morale in the next races.”

OTHER Etixx – Quick-Step NEWS
Volta Ciclista a Catalunya is known as a race without any true flat stages, but Friday’s 5th Stage was one where a flat section told the story. Rigoberto Uran finished 2nd out of a select group of GC favorites that formed a front echelon with about 40km left in the stage, just a few kilometers after the original breakaway was caught and the pace of the peloton was high.

The lead group quickly gained enough of an advantage on Bart De Clerq (Lotto Soudal), the race leader, to have several members of the group overtake him in the overall. The group contained about 17 riders and they held more than a minute advantage with 13km remaining. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) accelerated with 11km to go, and some ensuing counter attacks quickly reduced the group to just nine riders in contention. While the riders in the group wanted to stay together to go for the stage and the important bonifications, Valverde attacked continuously until he finally gained a gap with a few kilometers left in the stage. Valverde went on to win solo. However, Uran was working hard behind Valverde in order to attain 2nd and gain the crucial seconds to move up in the GC, and he accomplished his goal.

Richie Porte (Team Sky) moved into the leader’s jersey, with Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R – La Mondiale) 2nd (+5″) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) 3rd (+7″). Uran moves up a place into 5th, 18″ down on Porte. Etixx – Quick-Step looks next to 194.1km Stage 6 on Saturday. The stage includes a Category 1 and Category 3 climb, but descends into the finish line.

“The stage of today was really exigent,” Uran said. “Every stage of this race has been difficult. The parcours is part of the reason, but also the quality of the riders here is really high. On paper this looked like a relaxed stage, but at the end it became really hard”.

“The team was really good, they always kept me out trouble. I was always in front and never out of position. When we went in the front all the riders were collaborating well. When Valverde attacked there is usually that moment where everyone looks at each other, and he capitalized on that moment. Once again I finished in 2nd. It is just a question of moments and Valverde simply chose the right moment. But considering everything I have to be happy. The time differences in the classification is really small, so we have to stay focused in the next stages and keep doing our best.”

Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK