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Quickstep hat-trick couldn't have gone to a nicer guy

The sprint into Marseille

The sprint into Marseille (Image credit: Sirotti)

Green jersey Tom Boonen watched the sprint of his winning teammate on television, and was impressed by the Vasseur's timing. "He rode the perfect sprint. He does the same like I do but I'm a bit more blocked," Boonen laughed. "He starts his sprint at 250m from the finish, but he started really fast and that did it." It was the Quickstep team's third win in this Tour de France- a great success for the team, and Boonen was overjoyed for his teammate. "When I heard he won from Fitte [directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters -ed.] it was perfect, this is fantastic as he is a great guy."

At the finish line in Marseille, Quickstep's general manager Patrick Lefevere was also celebrating the win. "I'm super happy for him especially since he already announced this is his last year as a professional, but also because he is the most sympathetic rider in our team. He's always there when you need him; yesterday we talked about his schedule and he wants to ride every race until Lombardia," Lefevere smiled.

The Belgian manager hired Vasseur in 2006 when he came over from team Cofidis. "I hesitated very long before I took him on," Lefevere described how and why he wanted Vasseur. "He's someone who's very friendly, but that's obviously not enough to ride for us," Lefevere laughed. "Mainly he's very versatile and we could use him possibly to support Bettini in the Spring Classics but he was also usable for the Grand Tours as he's a rider that will stay in the race. So now my confidence in him was rewarded and a rider can never give you a better present than showing you're in the right."

"It was already perfect," continued Lefevere before the field came barreling into town some ten minutes later, "and if Tom [Boonen] wins this sprint for 12th position he's another step closer to the green jersey," Boonen eventually finished 13th but gained three more valuable points on his rival Erik Zabel.

While happy with the win, Lefevere was already looking forward to a fourth victory in this Tour de France. "Tomorrow is a stage that should suit us very well - we'll go for a bunch sprint - and I think Cédric is someone who will now work twice as hard tomorrow."

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