Devolder satisfied with second overall in De Panne
All eyes were on Trek Factory Racing's Stijn Devolder during the closing time trial at the Three Days of De Panne on Thursday, to see if he could overtake race leader Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) to win the overall title. That glory ended up going to Kristoff, who won the first three stages and rode a very strong time trial, leaving Devolder to settle for second place overall.
Kristoff led Devolder by 22 seconds heading into the final stage 3b 14.2km time trial. Although Devolder was slightly ahead of Kristoff at the halfway mark, he ended up finishing one second behind the Norwegian in the end, and 23 seconds behind him in the overall classification.
“I am happy to be on the podium again,” said Devolder, who recently crashed at Dwars door Vlaanderen. “One week ago in my crash I had thoughts that my spring season might be over, and I did not know at first how I would feel here. Kristoff had a great TT, and I have to be satisfied with second.
“But the credit is all to my teammates. They did so much for me every race to protect me, and for them I was able to finish second today. This gives me confidence again; I am ready and looking forward to Sunday.”
Küng on the time trial podium for BMC in De Panne
Stefan Küng (BMC) rode into second place during the stage 3b time trial at Three Days of De Panne on Thursday, finishing the 14.2-kilometre course 10 seconds behind stage winner and world time trial champion Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky).
"In the last five kilometers, I struggled a little bit and that might have cost me a few seconds," Küng said. "But in general, I am very happy. I didn't know how my condition was when I came into this race, so to finish it off like this gives me a lot of morale for the upcoming races.”
Küng started the final stage in 10th place overall but his strong performance in the time trial bumped him up into fourth overall behind winner Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), runner-up Stijn Devolder (Trek Factory Racing) and Wiggins in third placed.
"You could tell he was really hungry for the time trial," director Jackson Stewart said in a team statement. "At the time split, we had him only two or three seconds down on Wiggins and he managed to keep that second place. It is really impressive to have such a young guy who can do a time trial like this. For us, it shows a lot for the future."
No luck for MTN-Qhubeka as Bos crashes out of penultimate stage
“Our problem was that Theo Bos crashed out the race, that man just has no luck lately,” said the team’s director Michel Cornelisse. “In the sprint we were there with three riders but we just lost our way a bit in the final kilometer so no result today.”
Despite losing Bos to a crash during the race, the team was represented by Jay Thomson in the day’s breakaway of 13 riders, however, the move was reeled back in with three kilometres to go.
Cult Energy’s Pedersen shows potential in De Panne time trial
Denmark’s Mads Pedersen of the Cult Energy Pro Cycling team finished 26th in the stage 3b time trial that closed the Three Day of De Panne on Thursday. Team director André Steensen acknowledged the 19-year-old’s effort saying that he was pleased with his performance given his young age. World time trial champion Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) won the event and Pedersen finished the 14.2km course 58 seconds down.
"Taking Mads' young age into consideration, I reckon that he pulled a good result in today's time trial. He still had solid power in the legs after three demanding days of racing and I couldn't have asked for more. This morning, Troels [Vinther] was in the breakaway and they managed to stay out there until three kilometers to go. In the pack, [Martin] Mortensen, [Michael] Reihs and Russell [Downing] put Mads in a splendid position right behind Katusha but in the final corner, they lost ground. Naturally, we need more experience to perform better in these kind of finals but we're getting stronger and better all the time.”