Het Nieuwsblad Men

Jasper Stuyven of Trek Segafredo wins Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in two up sprint with Yves Lampaert with Soren Kragh Andersen third.

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Het Nieuwsblad Men

Jasper Stuyven of Trek Segafredo wins Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in two up sprint with Yves Lampaert with Soren Kragh Andersen third.

Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Sport

There is no better way to make amends for a disappointing 2019 Classics season than winning the opening race a year later. The Trek-Segafredo Classics team showed they have returned with a vengeance as Jasper Stuyven won a two-up sprint over Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck-Quick Step) to claim the win in the much anticipated first Classic, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

“I told the team that we needed to be in the front all day, and I think the focus from start to finish was excellent; we were always there,” said Stuyven. “And I got to finish off today. It’s the best victory I’ve had. Last year was a disaster, but this year is a good start. Today we showed as a team that last year was a mishap. We have a good group, and we finished the season well last year with Mads winning Worlds, and we were really motivated to keep this vibe going this year, We proved today that it worked out really well.”

The winning selection came perhaps unexpectedly early with 65 kilometers to go, but not for Stuyven, who showed his savviness in marking the right move. “We said yesterday in the team meeting that the move could happen early in this weather, and with the crosswinds early on, there were already tired legs in the peloton,” explained Stuyven. “And then I was following some moves, and I saw a group going, and I saw all the big teams were there. I think it was very important to jump [into it] and not get into a defensive mode. Then I heard immediately in the radio that everything was slowing down behind, so it was a good group to go to the line with.”

It was a strong group of eight that moved clear, holding a two-minute advantage over the final 50 kilometers that never wavered much as the oomph gradually sizzled out of the chasing bunch behind. But the Muur still lingered. The iconic climb verified its decisiveness once again as over the top, only three riders emerged: Stuyven, Lampaert, and Soren Kragh Andersen of Team Sunweb.

“Steven (de Jongh, director) encouraged me to try on the Muur,” continued Stuyven. “I wasn’t feeling the strongest, but I also knew everyone was tired. Once we started the Muur and no one accelerated, I thought I would try to accelerate myself, and we would see what happens at the top – I only looked back at the top, and I think I made a good split.”

Coming into the final two kilometers, Lampaert and Stuyven traded blows, purging Andersen but not each other, and a sprinting dual decided the victor. “After [the Muur] Soren was not really committed, and I was not sure if he was dying or playing a little bit, so it was hard – I didn’t want to do most of the work; I was not sure of the win, that’s for sure,” added Stuyven.

“Steven told me, ‘it’s your day, you’re the fastest’ and Yves was also telling me, “you’re the fastest,’ but I didn’t want to get overconfident. I was not 100 percent sure I would beat Yves in the sprint, but I managed it really well. When we started the sprint, Yves was on the left of my wheel, so I went a little more to the left and held my position, and I managed to close the door on him well.”

It was a massive win for Jasper Stuyven and Trek-Segafredo after two dry years in the Classics. “In 2018, I was always there but didn’t win, and so of course expectations were high last year, from everyone and also myself, to take that win, and that went really badly,” said Stuyven. “It’s super nice, especially since it’s the opening classic of the season and after the super teamwork today and how everything fell into place. It’s really nice to have a victory in the pocket already as that makes me even more relaxed,” he added.

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Søren Kragh Andersen (third): “Guys were starting to jump in the headwind and I followed a few attacks,” explained Kragh Andersen at the finish. “After a few times I thought I would try to go myself as we wanted to be active in the front. Suddenly we had a gap and a good group, and we worked together so the gap got bigger and bigger. I felt my legs on the Muur and the Bosberg. The other two were slightly stronger than me on the climbs so I was gambling for a sprint against them, and hoping they were empty. They attacked and I had nothing left so just tried to come as fast as possible to the finish. I’m really happy to finish on the podium at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, it is a big race and everyone is in top shape. Also for the team to start the classics campaign with a podium is really good. We aim for the win in the future and of course would have liked to win today but we have to start somewhere so I’m really happy and the team is really happy with the result.”

Yves Lampaert “With a small group, we managed to escape the peloton. Fortunately, I had a fantastic Tim Declercq with me in the breakaway. He did a crazy job by driving ahead into the headwind. Hats off to him. I accelerated 2 km from the end. Jasper Stuyven was able to follow. We dropped Soren Kragh Andersen and I knew that I would finish at least 2nd. I was not well positioned in the sprint to spring from the wheel of Jasper. Too bad I don’t win.”

“I’m happy with my race, but I would have loved to win so I could repay the team’s effort, and especially Tim’s huge amount of work. He was phenomenally strong, raced with his nose in the wind and still finished fifth. In that sense I am disappointed, although I can be satisfied too, because finishing on the podium at the first Classic of the year isn’t that bad. Overall, it’s nice to get a good result in the Opening Weekend, and to see the team so committed and strong, physically and tactically”.

Matteo Trentin (4th): “We knew from the start it could be a hard race. I wasn’t expecting it to be that hard. Even from the start, everyone was nervous. With the weather, the wind, the way everyone was racing today, it was a really hard race. I am happy with how the team raced because we were on the back foot when Trek-Segafredo split it the first time and we could manage to get back and get on the front foot in the next breakaways.”

“After the second time on the Haaghoek, we came off and split again and Greg and I were up there in the front. We knew the group was too big and one of the moves would stick. The move I went in was pretty good with strong guys. I wasn’t feeling too good on the Muur so that’s why I was dropped. When I saw them accelerate so much I decided to go my own pace. But, then the legs got better. If they started to look to each other and stopped riding for ten seconds, for sure I would have come back. But I don’t think any of them were playing games, they were committed and there were just three guys with better legs.”

“There is still some work I need to do to hit my shape. It’s kind of expected but, of course, when you are there you want to be the best and don’t want to get dropped. I am happy about the race. I think the team reacted well in a bad situation which is something that will come good in the next Classics. This is only the start.”

Tim Declercq: “My finish line was the Muur. I gave everything to make sure the group with Lampy would have the biggest lead possible there. Knowing the bunch was split, I kept going once I dropped out and tried to get a good personal result. It’s my first top 10 in the Classics and it feels very nice. I’m also happy I managed to do my job for the team. We took matters in our own hands again and showed a lot of character”, said the incredible Tim, who on top of his selfless work, finished Omloop in fifth place, just ahead of the reduced bunch.

Greg Van Avermaet: “I think we did quite well today. It was a super hard race right from the beginning with the wind and we had to be careful. We didn’t miss the main move with Matteo making it into that group and I had good feelings overall also so I could respond to some attacks in the back. When the gap went out to over one minute 30 seconds, you knew it would be really hard to catch them back. I think the guys in front were strong and we have a good result so hopefully, we can bring something more in the future races.”

“I think the main goal was to help each other and we did that but it’s really hard when you see how many contenders we have at a race like this but we had two cards today and I think Matteo did a good job.”

Kristoff (UAE): “I was feeling really good at the start but my saddle slipped down on one of the cobble sections so I could feel my power go down. It’s a pity but it happens. Now I’ll look ahead to tomorrow for Kuurne.”

Wout Van Aert: “The race went very well. The team always was in a good situation. It is a pity that Mike was not able to keep the pace on the ‘Muur, but at that moment, my group could not return to the front of the race. I tried to make it to the front, but at that moment there there was not enough support. In fact, the whole team raced well. We showed that we are ready for the classics. In races like this, you should be a bit lucky. That was not the case today.”

Mike Teunissen “I gave everything, but at a certain point, I did not anymore. I felt that other guys were better. Wout and Pascal were very strong, so I told them that they could attack. We rode a good race. We really showed ourselves. Hopefully I can be strong at crucial moments in the coming weeks.”

1. Jasper Stuyven, Trek – Segafredo
2. Yves Lampaert, Deceuninck – Quick Step
3. Søren Kragh Andersen, Team Sunweb @ 0:06
4. Matteo Trentin, CCC Team @ 0:39
5. Tim Declercq, Deceuninck – Quick Step @ 1:28
6. Mike Teunissen, Team Jumbo-Visma
7. Oliver Naesen, AG2R La Mondiale
8. Philippe Gilbert, Lotto Soudal
9. Stefan Küng, Groupama – FDJ
10. Florian Sénéchal, Deceuninck – Quick Step

11. Wout van Aert
13. Greg van Avermaet
14. Tiesj Benoot
14. Scott Thwaites
28. Tim Wellens
33. Nikki Terpstra
38. Ben Swift
49. Ian Stannard
62. Connor Swift
69. Fred Wright (last of the finishers)



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