By Brecht Decaluwé in Kuurne
Going into the final lap of Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne it was Rabobank's Juan Antonio Flecha who launched the first of many attacks against Quick Step's dominance in the breakaway group. The Spanish Classics specialist didn't get far, but paved the way for his young team-mate Sebastian Langeveld to escape in the final kilometres, together with eventual winner Steven De Jongh.
Cyclingnews asked the Spaniard after the finish if he was disappointed to not claim a win in the early season race. "Disappointed? No, not at all," Flecha replied in fluent English. "Second place is good when you're fighting against a Quick Step team with seven riders in the front group. We had to try something and we both took turns in the attack.
"I was a little sick last week, and yesterday [at the Omloop Het Volk] I wasn't good," he added. "With this performance the team can build confidence for the upcoming weeks."
Flecha is clearly at home with Rabobank and has even picked up a Dutch nickname from his team-mates. They didn't make it too hard and came up with a literal translation: Jan Anton Pijl, or for Cyclingnews readers: John Anthony Arrow.