Merlier: Alpecin-Fenix responded to criticism with our legs

DOUR BELGIUM MARCH 02 Podium Tim Merlier of Belgium and Team AlpecinFenix Celebration during the 53rd Grand Prix Le Samyn 2021 Mens Elite a 2054km race from Quaregnon to Dour Trophy Beer Mask Covid Safety Measures GPSamyn on March 02 2021 in Dour Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Tim Merlier of Alpecin Fenix celebrates victory at 2021 Le Samyn (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

One day after Deceuninck-QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere suggested that his team would be able to isolate and defeat the likes of Mathieu van der Poel and his rider Florian Sénéchal suggested that the Dutch champion is Alpecin-Fenix's only option, the team responded in the most powerful way possible. Alpecin-Fenix beat the WorldTour team at their own game, with Tim Merlier savouring the victory in Tuesday's Le Samyn.

Not only did the ProTeam take the victory, they shut down a full-on effort by Deceuninck-QuickStep to deliver Sénéchal and Mark Cavendish to the finish.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Cyclingnews is the world's leader in English-language coverage of professional cycling. Started in 1995 by University of Newcastle professor Bill Mitchell, the site was one of the first to provide breaking news and results over the internet in English. The site was purchased by Knapp Communications in 1999, and owner Gerard Knapp built it into the definitive voice of pro cycling. Since then, major publishing house Future PLC has owned the site and expanded it to include top features, news, results, photos and tech reporting. The site continues to be the most comprehensive and authoritative English voice in professional cycling.