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94th Ronde Van Vlaanderen - Team Reactions & Photos
By Staff
Date: 4/7/2010
94th Ronde Van Vlaanderen - Team Reactions & Photos

94th Ronde Van Vlaanderen - Reactions & Photos
Team Directors and riders reactions to Sunday's Tour of Flanders  with photos from Karen Lambrecht...

Fans at the start      Photo © 2010  Karen Lambrecht

Saxo Bank Race Recap
Cold showers in fierce winds and Team Saxo Bank in the front of the peloton was the standing image of this year's edition of Ronde van Vlaanderen.

A breakaway of eight riders broke clear of the bunch early in the race but Frank Høj, Anders Lund, Kasper Klostergaard and Stuart O'Grady made sure the gap was slowly neutralized and they put heavy pressure on the peloton which was slowly diminishing.

With 85 kilometers to go, the whole Team Saxo Bank line-up was represented in the front to tire the bunch on the flat part before the climbs of Kwaremont, Patersberg and Koppenberg. On Patersberg, the Danish national champion, Matti Breschel increased the pressure and created a group of ten favorites who could not cooperate because of the distance to the finish line and the combination of riders in the bunch.

On the cobble stone section of Holleweg, Team Saxo Bank's Swiss champion, Fabian Cancellara had a puncture and after a swift change of bikes he had to spend energy to get back in the peloton where Team Sky set a high pace.

Saxo Bank and Quick Step lead the pelton on the Kluisberg
Photo © 2010  Karen Lambrecht

Five kilometers down the road, Matti Breschel had a bike change as well and Team Sky immediately launched Matthew Hayman and he was soon followed by three other riders.

But they were not allowed to go as Fabian Cancellara fired away in an explosive counter-attack which Tom Boonen (Quick Step) was only barely able to follow.

Behind, a dangerous trio consisting of David Millar (Garmin), Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma/Lotto) and Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil) broke clear of the chasing bunch and were now on an exciting pursuit of the power duo in front.

But Team Saxo Bank's tempo specialist wanted to go alone and on the Muur he dropped Tom Boonen and did not look back before crossing the finish line, putting another big Classic on his and the Team Saxo Bank resume.

Fabian Cancellara...
“It was a perfect race and a dream come true. The team worked very hard before the finale to minimize the peloton and to put me in the best situation before the last tough climbs. From then on, I felt confident and when I accelerated on the Muur I knew I was going to be alone until the finish line.”

Team owner, Bjarne Riis...
”The race developed just the way we wanted it to and I knew that Fabian was feeling strong; but it wasn't in our plans that he should win like this in front of Tom Boonen. It was teamwork at its best, everyone gave what they had and Fabian finished the job perfectly”, said a happy

Robie McEwen rides to the start after signing in. Photo © 2010  Karen Lambrecht

Quick Step Team Comments
Tom Boonen: 'Felt really good, team was perfect'

"I’ve never been so fresh after a race" - Boonen said after the finish.  "Today I felt really good. When Cancellara attacked on Molenberg I could easily follow him. On the wall of Grammont my wheel slipped and I immediately felt a cramp on my right leg and I couldn’t follow Cancellara. After a few minutes the pain passed. It was a shame."

"However, I am happy for Cancellara. Now he has joined the club of the winners of the Tour des Flandres. I hope that next Sunday in Roubaix an exciting challenge like today's will happen again."

Tom Boonen and the peloton in Torhout      Photo © 2010  Karen Lambrecht

Boonen also acknowledged his team...
"The team was perfect today. We showed everybody our potential. The guys were perfect.” Tom  finished his analysis of the race with a joke. "Once again a second place after Paris-Tours and Milano-San Remo. This means that I am the most regular rider in the group," he said smiling.

Stijn Devolder, on the race...
 "For a long time I had to chase as a result of falls that were occurring in front of me. I was able to join the first group just before the Molenberg. There I began my race, but I paid the effort I made to come back to the front.”

BMC Racing Team
Hincapie 6th in Flanders- Ready for Roubaix

The three-time U.S. road champion and the rest of the field lost contact on the ascent of the Molenberg, inside of 40 km to go. “The team did a good job,” Hincapie said. “I’m confident for next Sunday. I had good legs and felt good all day. I can improve until Paris-Roubaix.”

Hincapie’s other top 10 placings at Flanders (Ronde van Vlaanderen) are third in 2006, fourth in 2002, fifth in 2008, seventh in 2005 and 10th in 2004.

Lance Armstrong in the peloton on the Kluisberg.

BMC Racing Team Director Sportif John Lelangue Pleased...
with the teamwork that helped the team’s four leaders (Hincapie, Alessandro Ballan, Marcus Burghardt and Karsten Kroon) make the initial selection. “Then in the final selection of the group of 13 we had George and he was doing well,”

 “Looking at the results, we were fourth last week (Gent-Wevelgem) and sixth today, so we are coming into a good position for next weekend with Paris-Roubaix – where I think George will be one of the main contenders.”

Gold & Black team, "Great Performance"

Right from the 2nd kilometer Italian Michele Merlo made it into a first attempt of five riders that ended up as the early TV-break of the race, with eight cyclists surviving for more than 180 kilometers at the head of the race. The Italian wasn’t the most glittering rider amongst the Golds, which tried another attack before the finishing ascents with youngster Fabio Felline,  his escape along with Dutchman Tom Veelers (Skil) ended around 10 kilometers later. Felline, along with tall countryman Ermanno Capelli, was the only survivor for Footon/Servetto at the finish in Meerbeke, with help from Manuel Cardoso and Vidal Celis on the hard climbs.

Michele Merlo at the start   Photo © 2010  Karen Lambrecht

Sport Manager Joxean Fernández Matxin...
 "The team was really superb, with the breakaway by Merlo at the start, good presence in the first half of the race with Celis, Capelli and Cardoso, always up-front, and the attack by Felline with Tom Veelers to take another break and try to chase the leaders down. The race got naturally cleared and we couldn’t be there, but I’m very satisfied with Capelli and Felline, who were able to finish into the second bunch"

"Actually, Cardoso could have stayed there too, if it weren’t for a puncture in the last kilometers; nevertheless, I think all of them did great. The final result would have been the best point for us, obviously, by being with the likes of Cancellara and Boonen in such a race like this, one of the hardest, most prestigious courses in the world, if it isn’t really the best, in my humble opinion, it’s very difficult, and we have to content ourselves with the impression we left right from the first kilometer."

"Only Capelli had finished this race previously, and this is a strong burden for riders like Cardoso, big pros but not experienced at this level before at the end. Now it’s time for the Vuelta al País Vasco, a downright different scenery where we’ll look to do our best as we did here."

Milram Classics specialist Roy Sentjens 21st ...
„I didn't feel particularly good at the start of the race, but it got better with every kilometer. It was an unbelievablu difficult race with the typical conditions for a Classic. There were so many fans along the way, who made for an unbelievable mood over the whole 260 km. I gave everything I had in the race, there was nothing left over for the finale.“

D.S. Ralf Grabsch...
„We had our plans for today and I had hoped for more than we achieved. So I am a little disappointed in the overall team performance. Still, with Roy Sentjens we had a rider who was in a good position for a long time and represented us well. He fought as hard as he could and in the end even had a chance for fifth place. Too bad that he no longer had the strength in the finale for a top placing.“

Bbox Bouygues  Telecom
 D.S. Dominique Arnould was satisfied...
 "It was a very big week with a beautiful cohesion. Our race was great today. The tenth of William Bonnet rewards all our work. Of course, Steve Chainel had the talent to finish within the top five but we can not blame him. All the crew have done a lot of work. Yohann, Damian, Matthew, it is important not to forget. We have eight days to complete our cycle to a better result " The finale is expected on Paris-Roubaix on Sunday.

Katusha had a special helmet that paid tribute to Belgium Photo © 2010  Karen Lambrecht

Stijn Vandenbergh 12th - Ignatiev in long breakaway

, bad luck with a fall on the Qwaremont with 80 km to go. - I’m very disappointed, - said Vandebergh, - because I felt good but I had bad luck. That’s a pity.

Ignatiev and the break  goes through Torhout  Photo © 2010  Karen Lambrecht

Mikhail Ignatyev (50th) did a good race with an attack of 200 km’s with 7 riders before and three later; the group was caught on the 9th climb.

 This was my third Tour ofFlandres, - said Ignatyev. - But it’s the first time that I finished and that I was protagonist. In the last Tour of Flandres I did the track world championship before and I wasn’t ready for this kind of muscular effort.

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