Valuable positioning lesson at Dwars Door Vlaanderen

Wed 25 Mar 2015

ORICA-GreenEDGE will begin Friday’s E3 Harelbeke armed with a valuable lesson after positioning caught them out in the opening Belgian race, Dwars Door Vlaanderen, today. 

The outfit’s day proved over after they were caught on the wrong side of a split and were subsequently held up behind an incident coming into the half way mark of the 200.2km journey from Roeselare to Waregem.

At the front of the race, Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise) survived from an early break to then join a secondary successful break for an impressive victory.

“There was a moment when we came into the first cobbles section around halfway through the race that the boys were in bad position,” sport director Laurenzo Lapage said.

“There was a split in the group there and then there was a small road downhill and a crash occurred ahead of them in that bunch and they never came back.

“On those small roads as a team we were all together too far back and that just cannot happen in these races. The boys recognised that in our debrief and we are looking forward to rectifying later in the week.”

The day’s racing began with much activity, as riders tried to form a breakaway deemed acceptable by the peloton.

An initial eight of 11 formed but were denied in their efforts before eventually, after over 80km of racing, a group of eight riders including ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Leigh Howard were granted the freedom to move up the road.

Their advantage reached two minutes 40seconds but with 60km to go just Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise) remained as a solo leader with just 15seconds to the first part of the peloton.

Behind him the race had broken into pieces as multiple groups formed on the road, eventually teammate Edward Theuns, Michal Kwiatkowski (Etxx – Quick-Step) and Dylan Van Baarle  (Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team) bridged across to Wallays to form the successful breakaway.

In a game of numbers, Wallays made the initial move of the quartet in the finale leaving it to Kwiatkowski and Van Baarle to chase whilst his teammate waited patiently. 

Crossing the line, Wallays survived by win by two seconds ahead of Theuns to make it a one, two for Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise.