Ronde van Zeeland Seaports: Etixx - Quick-Step Podium Sweep & Top 4!
Etixx - Quick-Step dominated 196.1km Ronde van Zeeland Seaports on Saturday. Niki Terpstra, Iljo Keisse, and Lukasz Wisniowski left no doubt about their intent to go 1-2-3, when the Etixx - Quick-Step trio attacked out of a big group with 100 kilometers to go. They built a 1'50" advantage over about 15 riders left chasing, including their own teammates Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Nikolas Maes, Matteo Trentin, and Yves Lampaert, with 70 kilometers remaining.
The trio went on to decide the race as they held almost a 5 minute advantage going into the last two laps of the race. The riders left on the road at that point was down to just 18 riders, including several others of Etixx - Quick-Step. The chasers behind the trio split into small groups, and Yves Lampaert was in the first chase group with Edward Theuns (Topsport Vlaanderen- Baloise) going into the final kilometers.
The victory went to Keisse, with Terpstra 2nd, and Wisniowski 3rd.
Lampaert was able to finish 4th over Theuns, confirming both the podium sweep and the 1-2-3-4 finish. Van Keirsbulck also finished 8th.
This is the 18th road win for Etixx - Quick-Step in 2015, and the second straight day with a victory.
"It was a very hard race today with a lot of wind, rain, and it was pretty cold," Sport Director Tom Steels said. "After 30 kilometers the guys were in the breakaway with a group of 23 riders. Yves Lampaert eventually bridged to the group of 23, giving us seven Etixx – Quick-Step riders in the group At 100 kilometers to go three of our guys — Niki Terpstra, Iljo Keisse, and Lukasz Wisniowski — accelerated and our three riders established a good gap. For the team we decided that Iljo Keisse could win this race. We were actually in a luxurious position. We only needed to choose who finishes where on the podium, so the decision wasn't hard to make. As a sport director you can only dream of a scenario like this! I must say that they didn't just get this win as a gift. They really fought hard for this scenario to happen. This is such a nice feeling and a great win!"
"I'm so happy with this win," Keisse said. "What a great result today! It's a really nice favor from Niki Terpstra and Lukasz Wisniowski to let me win. The hard work I did in the past years finally paid off and I'm thankful my teammates thought of me in this way. Niki did tell me as long as I still have good legs in the next races to help him win, so I will try my best to repay his good deed (laughs). Of course this isn't a Classic, but the teamwork demonstrated today really gives us a huge morale boost and shows the winning atmosphere we have among all 27 riders and all our staff. Also, to attack with three riders at 100 kilometers to go in a race is never an easy decision to make, but thanks to our collaboration as teammates we made it. When it comes to teamwork, this is a perfect example."