Quick Step's Lefevere wants to 'forget very quickly'
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Monday, March 01, 2010

Quick Step's Lefevere wants to 'forget very quickly'

by VeloNation Press at 8:35 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
 

With the opening weekend on the Belgian calendar behind him, Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere said he's ready to move on and forget about what happened to his team. Since 2003 Lefevere's riders have taken a win in the critical first weekend used to build up for the cobbled Classics, but the best the Belgian team could manage this time around was Wouter Weylandt's 12th place in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on Sunday.

"It was a weekend to forget very quickly," Lefevere told Het Laatste Nieuws on Monday.

On Saturday in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad the team looked poised for a good result with their Belgian champion Tom Boonen, but his chances we derailed with an untimely flat in the closing kilometers.

"Boonen was certainly good, we saw that on the Taaienberg," he said referring to an attack that nobody could follow on the cobbled climb. "[Sylvain] Chavanel did what he could," he said of the French revelation from last year's Classics season, "But the rest, I expect better," he explained.

Saturday's good weather saw Team Sky's Juan Antonio Flecha put in a decisive attack with just under 20 kilometers to race and drop Omega Pharma-Lotto's favorite Philippe Gilbert. The Spaniard's ride was inspired and gave him his first semi-Classic win and Team Sky their first major victory.

On the eve of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Belgium's official meteorology service RMI forecast some bad weather for Sunday's race prompting organizers to put in additional security measures for the event.

Strong winds marked the day with gusts of up to 100kph tearing the peloton to pieces across the Belgian landscape. Lefevere's team, like most, we decimated by the wind and cold with only two riders crossing the finish line: Wouter Weylandt (12th) and Sylvain Chavanel (22nd).

Vacansoleil's Bobbie Traskel, who was part of an early break, was the unexpected victor of the day, with Rick Flens (Rabobank) and Ian Stannard (Team Sky) rounding out the podium in an epic race that only saw 26 riders finish.

Several notable riders are a question mark after a weekend that is typically used as a barometer for who is going well. Philippe Gilbert (crash), Nick Nuyens (Rabobank - flat) and Boonen (flat) all looked strong, but suffered bad luck in the closing kilometers. While Cervelo TestTeam's Heinrich Haussler looks to have picked up where he left off last year, and will hope to finally get his big win in the Spring.

Lefevere doesn't think he needs to say much to his squad about the weekends events concluding, "My riders are professional enough to do self-reflection."  This is the first time in history that Het Nieuwsblad's podium did not include a Belgian.

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