By Brecht Decaluwé in Wevelgem
Rabobank's director sportif Erik Dekker was all smiles at the finish line of Gent-Wevelgem, where he waited for winner Oscar Freire to return from the podium. While talking with Cyclingnews the Dutchman drew an analogy to that Freire's win as the icing on the cake which the Dutch team lacked after the Ronde van Vlaanderen.
"As a team you're only as strong as your team leader, and that's why we have Oscar in the team. Last Sunday [at the Ronde van Vlaanderen] the team performed almost perfectly, but we didn't win the race. Today we did the same, but the win makes it perfect. That we did a lot of work to make it a bunch sprint adds even more to it," Dekker smiled. "Then again, I realize this isn't the Ronde van Vlaanderen or Paris-Roubaix."
The Rabobank team started pulling with three guys in the first group right after the second climb of the Kemmelberg when they noticed Freire was still with them. "I asked the guys to pull hard on the Kemmelberg, and that's what we did. Flecha attacked and eventually we ended up having five guys in the first group. You just now that you've got a good chance to win the race if you have the Freire-card to play in the sprint," Dekker said.