Baloise Belgium Tour Prologue: Lampaert, Van Keirsbulck in the Top 10!
Etixx - Quick-Step riders Yves Lampaert and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck finished just 1 second apart, in 8th and 9th place, at the 6.85km Baloise Belgium Tour Prologue in Bornem on Wednesday.
The two Belgian riders finished 19" and 20" down on stage winner Matthias Brändle (IAM Cycling), who won with a time of 7'54" (52.025km/h). Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team) was 2nd (+2"), and Gaetan Bille (Verandas Willems Cycling Team) was 3rd (+9").
Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to a 178.5km flat stage from Lochristi to Knokke-Heist. Tom Boonen won the sprint arrival in Knokke-Heist in 2014.
"My time trial was good, but maybe not super," Lampaert said. "I'm happy with the result, but think I could have done even better than my 8th place. But OK. Guillaume and I are both in the top 10 after today. It's a prologue, which probably won't be the big difference in the overall. We'll look forward to the next days to do even better. Tomorrow we will make a train for Tom. Normally it will be a bunch sprint, and we will do everything for Tom Boonen. We all have some good racing in our legs and we are motivated to do well."
"I feel good," Boonen said. "I think today went well, but I must say that last extra push, I missed it, because I was riding full gas the whole time. Of course, I'm also racing just days after the Giro. Every time when you come out of a big tour your body needs to adjust, because you have been riding the same pace for two weeks. So your brain, muscles, everything needs to adjust to the new rhythm of a different kind of race. Usually that takes one day. So I'm confident that tomorrow will be better. I don't think the big difference in the GC can be made on a day like today. Everything will be probably be decided on Sunday, the last stage. Also, a lot will depend on the weather. For tomorrow it will likely be a bunch sprint. I'm looking forward to it, because I have won this stage before and I'm hoping to do well again."