Team RadioShack’s Sébastien Rosseler powered to the victory in the second part of the third stage of the Three-Day Race of De Panne-Koksijde (Belgium), an individual time trial in De Panne over 14.7km. The Belgian rider completed the course in 18:31:83 with an average speed of 47.6 k/h. The race leader Lieuwe Westra (Vancansoleil-DCM) finished 2:14 behind Rosseler and Team RadioShack’s 20-year-old Michal Kwiatkowski finished 3rd. The three riders are also the numbers one, two and three on the overall podium. With Dmitriy Muravyev finishing 7th, the Team had a nice collective performance.
“Honestly I am surprised,” said Rosseler. “Before the race I was so sure that Westra would win this TT as well as the overall GC, especially when you look how impressive he was at the three other stages. However I guess I was not so bad. I started at a furious pace today. We had a tail wind at the start and I gave everything I had. The legs still felt good despite the hard stage of earlier in the day. This is nice. Things are going well for our Team this season.”
For Sébastien Rosseler this is his tenth victory as a professional rider. For Team RadioShack last year he won the Brabant Arrow (Brabantse Pijl) and a stage in the Tour of Algarve. A year earlier he was the best in the time trials of the Four-Day-Race of Dunkerque and the Tour of Belgium.
“This is a nice compensation for Séba,” commented Team Director Dirk Demol. “In his career he has had so much bad luck. He was also runner-up in the Eneco Tour, the Tour of Belgium, the Franco-Belge and Three-Day-Race of West-Flanders. He deserved this overall victory. Moreover Séba is a guy who is always prepared to work for the Team.”
Sébastien Rosseler will start now as one of the leaders of the Team for the Tour of Flanders on Sunday. “Not as the only leader of the Team,” clarified Rosseler. “We have more riders in the Team who can surprise. Of course that race is from another level. We are not the favorites on Sunday but we can surprise with some of them.”
“Never put Séba in a leader position. He doesn’t like that,” said Demol. “He is at his best in the underdog position. On the other hand, I hope that from now on he will have more confidence in himself. With his TT skills he is able to win all stage races without high mountains.”
Next to Rosseler on the podium, at only 20-years-old, was teammate Michal Kwiatkowski from Poland. Kwiatkowski is a former world champion time trial (juniors, 2008, Cape Town) being faster than Jakob Steigmiller and Taylor Phinney in that race. Kwiatkowski is also a two-time European champion (road race 2007, time trial 2008). In 2009 he became national road champion in the U23 category.
Dirk Demol: “This guy is even ready for the Tour of Flanders. What a nice Three-Day Race for him. In the first stage he was a bit too impetuous, he messed around with his forces, but in stage two and three he remained in the front and even sprinted twice in the top ten. And then this afternoon a time trial of high level. Nice. This is not the last we will see from him. We may not complain about our races in Belgium up to now. This is our third race over here and the second victory. Thanks to a very good Dmitriy Muravyev we’ve won the Teams Classification again as well.”