Driedaagse De Panne: Van Keirsbulck 4th in ITT, Vermote & Lampaert Top 10 Stage & GC
Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, defending winner of Driedaagse De Panne, finished 4th in the 14.2km Stage 3b ITT on Thursday, while his teammates Julien Vermote and Yves Lampaert also earned 8th and 9th place in the stage, which confirmed an 8th and 9th place overall finish.
Vermote and Lampaert finished 1'16" and 1'17" down on overall winner Alexander Kristoff (Katusha). Van Keirsbulck finished 18" down on stage winner Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), as the UCI World TT Champion finished the parcours in 17 minutes and 49 seconds.
Kristoff also won 114.4km Stage 13a, with Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) 2nd and Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) 3rd. Mark Renshaw of Etixx - Quick-Step finished 15th in the stage.
"After the end of Driedaagse de Panne we can be satisfied with the good performance today," Sport Director Rik Van Slycke said. "We had three riders in the top ten of the time trial, and two guys in the top 10 of the GC. That's not so bad also considering this is our young guys. If you look back, when we had a 34" GC disadvantage after the first stage due to Kristoff winning out of the breakaway, I think our end result is quite good. We had the intention of fighting for the victory, but after the first stage we changed our tactic to try and do well in the time trial. Seeing as the UCI World TT Champion and the European TT Champion finished in the first two places of Stage 3b today, and the GC leader was 3rd, it is quite a strong performance for Guillaume to place 4th behind those kind of riders. Considering everything we can be happy with how we finished this race."