Dane working his way back after trying 2011 season
He may have been shelled out of the lead group at a decisive stage but Matti Breschel (Rabobank) declared his satisfaction after a strong performance in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday.
The Dane positioned himself near the front of the field on the Taaienberg and latched into the coattails of Tom Boonen (Omega-Pharma QuickStep) and Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Barracuda) when the two Belgians attacked.
Matthew Hayman (Sky) Thor Hushovd (BMC), Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) and Dries Devenyns (Omega-Pharma QuickStep) also made the move.
On the Molenburg with 37 kilometres remaining Vanmarcke blew the group apart with a savage attack at the base of the climb. Breschel wasn't the only rider to be distanced but he dragged himself back on the descent.
That episode proved to be a prequel for what happened on the cobbled stretch known as the Paddestraat. There, Vanmarcke tested his colleagues once more but unlike on the Molenburg, there was no way back for Breschel once he was dropped with Hushovd.
"I'm pleased with how my race went," Breschel told Cyclingnews at the finish.
"When I was in the front group I wanted to stay up there but I didn't have the legs today. I'm where I have to be though."
"The Taaienberg is always the place to go. I'm happy."
Breschel spent most of the 2011 season on the treatment table with a series of knee and hand injuries. It was a disappointing season lacking in results after his move to the Rabobank team had opened the doors to a crucial phase in his career.
This year he has already shown flashes of his talent, picking up placings in Algarve last week.
"It's not like I have results," he said, playing down his form.
"There's still pressure and as a team we still want to win some Classics but we're on the right path and there's no stress."
Breschel's director Nico Verhoeven was pleased with the rider's performance but confirmed that the rider was still missing 5 per cent before he reached top form.
"I've not spoken with Matti yet but he's showed he's in good condition but not quite good enough to stay with the front guys."
"Today he was right up there but the lights went out for him with 30 kilometres to go. Until that moment he was in the move with the strongest riders in the race."
Breschel will race in Sunday's Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne where Rabobank will be working for Australian Mark Renshaw.
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