Laurenzo Lapage checks in from GP Impanis – Van Petegem where Simon Clarke represented ORICA-GreenEDGE in a lengthy break.
We started with only five riders whereas most teams fielded eight riders. It wasn’t so easy to come up with a specific plan or tactic when we were so outnumbered. I gave all of the riders a free pass to take their chances.
With a lot of the Continental teams mixed in with WorldTour teams, the race had a nervous start. Eventually, Simon got away with a breakaway. He was with Jos van Emden (Rabobank) and Huub Duyn (De Rijke). The three riders worked together to take almost six minutes on the field.
When the bunch brought back the three riders, the peloton split into many pieces. A front group of 23 riders broke clear, and Simon made this split. He attacked the group several times, but eventually this group was caught, too. This was inside the last ten kilometers. At this point, teams started to set up for a bunch sprint.
We didn’t play a role in the sprint. Jens Keukeleire and Wesley Sulzberger finished on the same time as race winner André Griepel (Lotto – Belisol).
Simon showed today, as he showed at the Vuelta, that he is ready for Worlds. He has timed his fitness perfectly to be ready for his biggest goals of the season.