Cortina, Nibali and Colbrelli light our “De Ronde”
Ronde Van Vlaanderen
Antwerpen-Oudenaarde (267 km)
Oudenaarde (Belgium), April 1st – His long escape finished with 45 km to go, but Iván Garcia Cortina deserves a big round of applause for his Ronde Van Vlaanderen. The Spaniard was in today’s breakaway, that went clear after 70 km into the race with a small group of eleven riders, riding at the front and honouring BAHRAIN MERIDA colours: “It was like a dream. One of my best race so far. De Ronde is my second favourite after Paris-Roubaix, that will come soon…”
18 iconic and legendary Hellingen, that Vincenzo Nibali tasted for the first time in his life. Interest and expectation for his Flanders’ debut and the Shark did not disappointed: “I tried to attack, but then I did not have legs strong enough. It’s my first De Ronde and I felt like I was in a washing machine. Impressive. The speed was always very high.” he comments after the finish in Oudenaard where Terpstra celebrated a solo win ahead of Pedersen and Gilbert. The decisive attack of the Dutchman came just after the attempt of our rider with 27 km to go. A move that excited everybody: “Nibali was really close to make something great today” says our Sports Director Rik Verbrugghe “All the riders did what they needed to do. Cortina in the break and Sonny did a good race too”.
Sonny Colbrelli, our man for this kind of race, was not at his best before the start, but then he even tried to attack and was the best-placed of our riders (1’15” down the winner), finishing together with Nibali and Haussler: “I started the race not with great ambition, but when you ride a race like Flanders it’s easy to find ‘grinta’ and ‘morale’. I wasted too much energies where I did not need, maybe. But I’m happy because the feelings are good and I’m improving”.
“The boys did everything right today” concludes a satisfied Tristan Hoffman, the other SD at the race “It was an exciting race for us to watch”.