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Mar 8, 2015 – Etixx-Quick-Step riders Yves Lampaert and Michal Kwiatkowski each earned victories in the second straight day of double-wins for Etixx – Quick-Step this weekend.
EQS PR/Tim de Waele/Photopress.be
Lampaert Wins Overall at 3-Daagse van West-Vlaanderen
Etixx – Quick-Step rider Yves Lampaert took several jerseys at the end of Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen on Sunday, winning the overall following a group arrival, and also winning the points classification as well as the award for best young rider.
The Belgian rider won Stage 2 yesterday out of a breakaway, and because he was also 5th in the prologue the day before, he was able to move into the GC lead. Etixx – Quick-Step defended their leader perfectly, first going into a breakaway with 24 riders, staying away until inside 10km to go in the stage with 13 left out of the escape group, and then ensuring the final 184.5km stage ended in a bunch sprint.
Danny Van Poppel (Trek Factory Racing) won the stage. Kris Boeckmans (Lotto Soudal) was 2nd, and Michael Van Staeyen (Cofidis) was 3rd. Gianni Meersman finished 5th.
Lukasz Wisniowski, Meersman, Lampaert, and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck made the large escape group, which came together after an early catch of the original breakaway of seven riders.
Etixx – Quick-Step also won the team classification.
“After 25 kilometers there were seven guys in the front, but we controlled the race very well with Iljo Keisse and Petr Vakoc working hard on the front,” Lampaert said. “We were in control the entire day, it was impressive. There was an echelon for a certain moment in the front with several of our riders in good position, but when we came into the local lap they eventually caught us. So we tried to organize a bit the sprint for Gianni. But OK, he was 5th after a long day of defending my leadership. I’m really happy for the win. When you consider what we did over a three-day period, it was excellent. The team worked really well and I am proud to be able to finish their job. For me it’s the first time I won a stage race. Last night I slept really well. I was confident in the team. But you never know what can happen in cycling and we we have respect for every rider and team. So today we were attentive and motivated. We did our best to win the race and I think this is a team victory more than just my victory. The team did so well and I want to thank them for supporting me. We are thrilled as a group, and can look to the next races with optimism and satisfaction with what we did here.”
Polish Champion Kwiatkowski Wins Paris-Nice Prologue, Martin 3rd
Etixx – Quick-Step rider Michal Kwiatkowski put on his Polish TT Champion jersey at Paris-Nice, and went on to win the 6.7km prologue by less than a second. His 7’40” time (52.435 km/h) means the UCI World Road Champion will put on a yellow jersey for the 192km road stage on Monday.
Kwiatkowski also leads the points classification, and is currently the best young rider.
Tony Martin, German TT Champion, rounded out the podium in 3rd (+07″). Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team) was 2nd.
“I knew at 500 meters that it was going to be really close,” Kwiatkowski said. “I had the split times of Tony, which was a really big advantage for me to pace myself along the parcours. It was key to start as one of the last riders, on such a strong lineup of Etixx – Quick-Step. I’m happy that I had those great split times of a champion like Tony. At 500 meters I just tried to do my best sprint possible and that helped me get the win.
“I’m really happy about this victory with such strong competitors, but in the end it is just 6.7 kilometers of about a thousand kilometers before the finish line in Nice. It’s going to be a week of hard racing. But the one-week races can suit my skills, so we will see what can happen. The main goals are still ahead. I’m excited about what I did today, but I’m looking forward to the rest of Paris-Nice, defending the yellow jersey with a strong team here. We will do our best day-to-day. I’m still a young guy, turning 25 this year, so I am still developing as a rider even with the success like today. I am looking forward to the experience of Paris-Nice the rest of this week.”
Etixx – Quick-Step, due to four victories in two days, now has 16 road wins in 2015.?
“I just had a quick chat with our CEO Patrick Lefevere a minute ago,” Kwiatkowski said. “Patrick is very happy with what we’ve done until now. We had a great winter collectively, with no big complications for anyone with their ?training for the 2015 season. We had good training camps too. Our lineup for 2015 is just great, and it helps that everyone is motivated including me. This is my first victory of the year. It’s an accomplishment to be one of eight riders who has contributed to the 16 victory total on the road so far. I’m happy to be one of the guys who has won. But really, there is a team spirit among these 27 riders and that is really important. I don’t think it’s the end of the story here, either. I think our best races are ahead of us and we are all still getting into our best condition.”
“I’m more or less happy with my performance and am also happy for Michal winning today,” Martin said. “Michal was super strong and he deserves this victory. I’m happy the yellow jersey is with Etixx – Quick-Step after the first day. As for me, I’m not just here for the prologue. I am also ready for the mountains. I didn’t make a special preparation just for the prologue. So, we will see. But I was happy with my power and the result. We will now focus on the next stages. The flat stages are first and at Paris-Nice there is always a risk of crosswind and crashes. So, ?even the flat stages are not so easy. I am then looking forward to the mountain stages. I’m curious how I can perform there. Also, of course, with Michal as race leader we have two riders who can do well in this Paris-Nice overall. We’ll see what we can do but morale is high with two of us on the podium.”