Marc Sergeant has criticised his Lotto Belisol team after what he called an ‘off-day’ in Omloop het Nieuwsblad. Jurgen Roelandts was the team’s best performer, finishing in 13th place with Lars Bak the only other rider from the team to finish inside the top 35.
"The team hasn't lived up to the expectations. The goal was to finish high with Jürgen Roelandts. We should have been stronger collectively in the final. We're disappointed,” Sergeant said in a team press release.
For his part Roelandts raced aggressively, and was an active member of the chase once several threatening moves formed in the final 60 kilometres of racing. However, with little support he was left isolated.
Bak and Jens Debusschere moved to the head of the peloton in a bid to support Roelandts on the Kruisberg but when Belkin decimated the field on the Taaienberg, the Belgian squad had little answer.
"The moment that Boasson Hagen, Terpstra and Vanmarcke responded to the attack of Stannard and Van Avermaet I hesitated,” Roelandts said.
“I should have gone with them. Sep Vanmarcke obviously was the strongest man in the race, he was impressive. On the Paddestraat and Lippenhovestraat I had a good feeling and thought everything was still possible. It was a race in which the circumstances were changing all the time and that's why it was hard to assess the situation. I was indeed alone in the final. It would have been better if I had the support of teammates in the section of the Paddestraat and Lippenhovestraat so I could have done less efforts myself. I'm disappointed about the result, I had hoped to perform better. It didn't turn out as I expected."
Roelandts will start Sunday’s Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne and with Andre Greipel in the team the squad has a realistic chance of making amends for Saturday’s performance.
“We have to show we can perform as a team,” Sergeant added.
“In Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne André Greipel is our leader. Saturday was an off-day. The team has had a good preparation. In the run-up we did everything to be ready, but we didn't perform as we wanted. Tomorrow is a new opportunity."