It was an eventful day for ORICA-GreenEDGE at the Ronde van Vlaanderen. Luke Durbridge was an early casualty of another crash filled classic. He left the race by ambulance and was diagnosed with a mild concussion at the hospital. Daryl Impey turned the team’s fortunes around when he rode himself into the early breakaway. He was the last man standing from the 11 rider move, swept up by the remnants of the peloton shortly after he crested the Koppenberg alone.
Mitch Docker attacked out of the bunch on the Valkenberg. Although his attack was short-lived, it left the peloton scrambling in his wake. Several small groups had formed by the time Docker had rejoined the bunch. Thirty kilometres later, Jens Keukeleire took his turn next, jumping up on the Oude Kwaremont – hoping to get across to Impey, who was one of three riders still up the road with just over 50 kilometres to race. Keukeleire was quickly shut down, as the main contenders prepared to show their cards.
As most of you will know by know, Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) raced a tactically brilliant race to capture his third Tour of Flanders title. Spartacus proved sharpest and quickest from quartet that fromed the winning move, beating out Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin) for top honours. Stijn Vandenbergh (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) was forced to settle for fourth place.
Finish outside the top ten and the results typically don’t do justice to the story a team has to tell at a race like this. Keukeleire was the top finisher for ORICA-GreenEDGE. He crossed the finish line in Oudenaarde in 37th place, 3'52 behind Cancellara. Mat Hayman and Impey came to the line together 20" later in 51st and 52nd place. Mitch Docker and Michael Hepburn finished with a group 12'38 down. The results belie the preparation, the passion and the pockets of glory.
“Under the circumstances, I think we can a lot of positives from the day. We had Daryl Impey in the break all day. He did a fantastic ride. We had Jens Keukeleire have a good try on the Kwaremont, which we planned in the race meeting. It didn’t work out. We knew anything we did today would be a long shot.” – Sport Director Matt Wilson.
|1||Fabian Cancellara (Swi) - Trek Factory Racing||6:15:18|
|2||Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) - BMC Racing Team||ST|
|3||Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) - Belkin Pro Cycling Team||ST|
|4||Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) - Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team||ST|
|5||Alexander Kristoff (Nor) - Team Katusha||0:00:08|
|6||Niki Terpstra (Ned) - Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team||0:00:18|
|7||Tom Boonen (Bel) - Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team||0:00:35|
|8||Geraint Thomas (GBr) - Team Sky||0:00:37|
|9||Björn Leukemans (Bel) - Wanty - Groupe Gobert||0:00:41|
|10||Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) - Garmin Sharp||0:00:43|
|37||Jens Keukeleire (Bel) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:03:52|
|51||Mathew Hayman (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:04:12|
|52||Daryl Impey (RSA) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|97||Mitchell Docker (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:12:38|
|98||Michael Hepburn (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|