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Devolder takes Belgian title

By:
Cycling News
Published:
August 16, 2008, 0:00 BST,
Updated:
April 20, 2009, 21:45 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, August 16, 2008

Quick Step's Stijn Devolder has recaptured the Belgian national championship, but this time he will...

Quick Step's Stijn Devolder has recaptured the Belgian national championship, but this time he will wear the colours of his country's flag in future time trial events. The 2007 road race champion bested last year's winner Leif Hoste (Silence-Lotto) by one minute and two seconds in the 45 kilometre event. Former U23 world champion Dominique Cornu, also of Silence Lotto, took third a further six seconds back.

Hoste was in the lead at the half-way point, but blamed a lack of fitness with conceding nearly a minute and a half over the second circuit. "I felt myself weaking," Hoste said to HLN.be. "When I started the second lap, I saw Philippe Gilbert 150 metres in front of me, and I never caught him, not even on the long, straight false flat. Then you know you can't win."

Devolder was pleased with his performance, saying he took the first lap more relaxed before pouring on the gas on the second. The title helped make up for his disappointing Tour de France, where he went in as a contender for the overall and ended up dropping out mid-way through the race.

"The Tour was one of the biggest disappointements of my career," Devolder said. "The whole time during the Tour I was not well, but I could not give up." He dropped out of the Tour, and went home to recuperate and refocus his goals. "It allowed me to dedicate time to other goals," he said, "the national time trial was one of them. Now I have the Eneco Tour and Tour of Poland to get ready for the World Championships."

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