News: GP Jean-Pierre Monseré

Mark Cavendish second to Tim Merlier in the Grote Prijs Jean-Pierre Monseré – Lewis Askey wins the Combativity prize after being out front until eight miles from the end

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News: GP Jean-Pierre Monseré

Mark Cavendish needed just a few races to secure his first top 3 finish since rejoining The Wolfpack, sprinting to a solid second at the Grote Prijs Jean-Pierre Monseré. The Manxman, who started his 16th pro season just a few weeks ago in Spain, was one of the seven Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders to line up for the Belgian race, which consisted of several laps around the town of Roeselare, after a start from Hooglede.

©Luc Claessen/Getty Images

The Wolfpack chased down the main breakaway Sunday afternoon, but also the lone riders who tried to derail the bunch sprint inside the last ten kilometers, making sure it would all come together under the flamme rouge. Mark was well-positioned on the wheel of teammate Bert Van Lerberghe, but had to be content with second in the end, after Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) launched a move from distance, anticipating the sprint. Cavendish reacted as soon as the Belgian went, but the gap was too big to shut down and he finished runner-up, a result that underlined the strong condition he has after a good winter training.

“To be honest I kind of forgot how it was to be in a sprint. I am a bit disappointed, because the team controlled the race and I felt really good, but Merlier was clever when he launched it. Going into the final, Bert got sandwiched, which is what happens when a bunch of guys all go for the same bit of road. I reacted when Tim went on the right side, but the gap was already there and that was that.”

“I’m glad to be on the podium, but at the same time I’m disappointed, as I said. Now I will do Nokere Koerse, which is a race I never did before, and see how things go there. I love racing in Flanders and I want to enjoy every single moment of it. We will keep trying in the next races, we’ll keep having fun and see where that takes us”, Mark said after becoming the first British rider to finish the Grote Prijs Jean-Pierre Monseré in the top 3.

The podium place for the 35-year-old British rider, was the first time since April 18, 2019 in the third stage of the Tour of Turkey. “I am quite happy, but also a bit disappointed,” he says.

“We will keep trying, but the most important thing is the team’s success. We have fun and I will be racing again. ” The next race on the program for Cavendish is Nokere Koerse. Julien Vermote (former Quickstep rider) was also discussed. “We trained together for three hours this week,” said Cavendish. “He’s still pretty good. It’s a shame he doesn’t have a squad because he’s someone who deserves a contract. He is a professional, one of my best friends and one of the most valuable teammates I have ever had. That makes me sad. ”

Tim Merlier “I didn’t expect to get into position so easily but I was in a good position and was able to defend my place. I saw that Cavendish’s lead-out almost went down, so when they looked at each other for a moment, I didn’t hesitate anymore. I went on the inside and luckily it was enough. I ended up alone in the wind on the right, and I had no one in front of me. I know when I sprint from afar that I can maintain my power. My next race is Tirreno-Adriatico. Hopefully I will have quick legs and will be well recovered from today”.

Lewis Askey, who rode an awesome Grand Prix Jean-Pierre Monseré race – “I felt really good and wanted to work with the group (breakaway of 9), he said. “When I rode clear of everyone on the cobblestones, it wasn’t an attack. I just think everyone was at their limit”. Joined a little later by counter attackers from the peloton (inc Jacob Scott), Lewis Askey held his place out front until eight miles from the finish. “Overall I would say I had a good day on the bike,” he summed up. “I can be happy with my condition and the way I ran, even if the end result isn’t there to prove it. – Lewis got the Combativity award …

GP Jean-Pierre Monseré
1. Tim Merlier Alpecin-Fenix 4:34:44
2. Mark Cavendish Deceuninck-Quick Step
3. Timothy Dupont Bingoal-WB
4. Pierre Barbier Delko
5. Riccardo Minali Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert
6. Thomas Boudat Arkéa-Samsic
7. Jordi Warlop Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Emiel Vermeulen Xelliss-Roubaix Lille Métropole
9. Arne Marit Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Rait Ärm Groupama-FDJ Conti

17. Oliver Robinson Lviv Cycling Team
22. Jacob Scott Canyon DHB Sungod
31. Matthew Bostock Canyon DHB Sungod
53. Rory Townsend Canyon DHB Sungod @ 09
93. Lewis Askey Groupama-FDJ Conti @ 13
97. Reece Wood Canyon DHB Sungod @ 13
119. Robert Scott Canyon DHB Sungod @ 47
122. Alexandar Richardson Alpecin-Fenix @ 47
137. Damien Clayton Canyon DHB Sungod @ 5:34
141. Leo Hayter Development Team DSM @ 6:24

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