Belgian Professional Continental team Landbouwkrediet-Colnago had a mixed bag of emotions after the Ronde van Vlaanderen on Sunday. Bert de Waele finished an excellent 10th and Bert Scheirlinckx was in the same group, in 19th. Kevin Neirynck was less happy with 94th place.
De Waele was very satisfied with his result, given the difficulties early on. "I didn't have the explosiveness, so I had trouble to stay in the front group on the early climbs. At one point when I was too far back there was a split in the peloton and I found myself in the second group."
De Waele was lucky that it also contained a few Quick Step riders, so the group reached the front again. "Later in the race I started to feel better and even the accelerations at the Bosberg I could handle well."
Scheirlinckx thought he could have also finished in the top ten. "The crash in the end [involving Thor Hushovd] left me without chances in the sprint. I was well positioned and still had some power in my legs."
Scheirlinckx felt well the whole day. "I handled the little climbs with ease. Between the cobbles of the Haaghoek and the climb of the Leberg I went on the offensive with two others, but I didn't get much help [from them] and we were caught soon."
Scheirlinckx knew that winner Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) was untouchable. "But a top five was possible on Sunday. I am at my best level in the last three years. I will now start my first Paris-Roubaix and I really want to show myself there."
Only Neirynck had a completely miserable day. "I had to change wheels three times. The first time was right before the Molenberg, not a good moment." He received a wheel from the neutral car. "But it was pumped up way too hard," Neirynck said. So he switched wheels again. The third change was necessary when spokes broke on his wheel.
He was able to get back to the peloton. "But it cost me a lot of strength and at that level they'll present you with the bill."