Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin) took his first win for the season in the UCI 1.1 GP Impanis-Van Petegem on Saturday. After 197km of racing Vanmarcke won the sprint ahead of fellow escapee Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge) in Haacht, Belgium.
After finishing an agonising second place by just millimetres in the UCI 1.1 GP Jef Scherens last week in Leuven, Vanmarcke was glad to finally take his first win for the season.
"The fact that I couldn't finish it off last week makes this win extra nice," Vanmarcke said. "I didn't expect this because I had a bit of cold this week. However, I got better and better during the race."
In the final kilometres Vanmarcke and Weening hovered just ahead of a chase group of five riders including Roy Curvers (Argos-Shimano), Danilo Wyss (BMC) and Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM). Knowing his sprint would carry him to victory, Vanmarcke took the front to prevent the others from catching the two leaders and sealed the win in style.
"I was preventing the others from coming back," explained Vanmarcke. "With five hundred metres to go, I slowed down and waited for the sprint because I know I'm more explosive."
Residing in Waregem, roughly 100 kilometres from the race finish, made this a home-town victory for 25-year-old Belgian. And Vanmarcke's idea of celebration was to ride home, clocking up 300km for the day.
He said with a laugh: "I will ride home by bike!"