By Brecht Decaluwé in Koksijde
At the finish of stage 2 in the Three Days of De Panne, Cyclingnews talked with Nico Mattan, team leader of the DFL-Cyclingnews team. So far, the team has failed to come up with good results despite being invited to many big races.
In Wednesday's stage 2, the team was only mentioned on the race radio with a huge "chasse-patat" (meaningless pursuit) by Rhys Pollock. The 27 year-old Australian from Albury rode about 90km on his own between the leaders and the peloton, but his charge came to an end with 40km to go.
"They're all positive and they're trying the best they can but it's hard to fight the big teams," Mattan said. "Rhys probably started his attack a little late today but at least he tries."
We wonder when we will see the experienced Belgian in the frontline, but Mattan played down high expectations. "It's clear the sprinters' teams are in control over here, so for me it's useless to try, tomorrow morning will be just the same," Mattan said.
In the afternoon, there is a short 11km time trial where we might expect the flamboyant Belgian near the front; Mattan won the race back in 2001 and he has always done well in the short time trial. "Things changed of course but it should be possible to earn a top 10 spot," Mattan concluded optimistically.