Omega Pharma-Lotto sprinter matches Gilbert for 2010 wins
Adam Blythe (Omega Pharma-Lotto) capped a hugely successful final fortnight of racing for 2010 with victory in Nationale Sluitingprijs - Putte-Kapellen in Belgium on Tuesday.
Blythe's win in the final race of the Belgian season was his fourth of the year and followed his two stage wins and overall victory at the Circuit Franco-Belge earlier this month. He finished clear of Wouter Weylandt (QuickStep) and Stefan van Dijck (Verandas Willems) in a massive field sprint and told Cyclingnews that the manner of his victory had been particularly pleasing.
"The sprint that I won yesterday was a little more convincing. I won it by a full bike length and I was clear from the field rather than just a dip on the line sort of thing," he said on Wednesday morning. "It was a nice feeling, last race of the season for me and the last race in Belgium, that made it special."
Victory at Putte-Kapellen added another to the total of nine wins Omega Pharma-Lotto have secured this year. Although the race brought his first season as a fully-fledged professional to a close, Blythe admitted that he had decided against taking too much advantage of local Belgian hospitality.
"We kept it pretty low-key really, I hadn't seen my girlfriend in a while, so I just spent some time with her," he said. "It was just nice that everyone could go out, be relaxed and finish on a high, instead of doing a lot of work and not get anything from it. I think everyone was pretty happy that they put the work in and then we could celebrate after."
Blythe also moved on par with teammate Philippe Gilbert, both riders having four season wins to their names. While he was aware of that record the young Briton said it was not one he would spend a lot of time worrying about.
"It's not a competition to see who gets the most wins out of the team. All I'm trying to do is win and help get as many as we can as a team. I just try to do my best for the team at every race.
Blythe said he has not yet started thinking about 2011. He will spend three and a half weeks off his bike before he turns his attention to his second season with Omega Pharma-Lotto. One teammate who will be missing next year will be Blythe's compatriot Charly Wegelius, who confirmed this week that he will leave the Belgian squad for US squad UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis.
"Charly did help me this year, especially at the training camps at the start of the season," said Blythe. "I actually only ended up doing one race with him, at the Giro. It was nice having him there, he's a helpful guy and he knows a lot about riding a bike. It's sad to see him go, but I'm sure I'll stay in touch with him."
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