Terpstra Wins Solo, Chavanel 2nd at DDV
Niki Terpstra saw his chance in an eight rider break, attacking with a little more than 30km to go in the 199.5km Dwars door Vlaanderen — a race on Wednesday with 13 climbs — and winning alone as a result. Sylvain Chavanel, meanwhile, played out the race tactics to perfection and gave Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team the 1-2 podium outcome.
"For me, it's the best victory ever together with the 2010 national road championship," Terpstra said. "Today I had super strong legs. Going solo was something I have done in the past, so I know it is possible to finish in a great solo like today. The road to victory was through my Specialized. I really rode a great solo in the final kilometers thanks to my perfect bike. It was a good moment for me before the big classics. Now I want to stay prepared for the next races where I will take part."
Terpstra was in a break with teammate Chavanel, as they bridged to a 13 rider breakaway, with some members staying away for 86km.
"Sylvain and I worked really well together to catch the first group," Terpstra said. "When we bridged to the first group we understood immediately there was room to try a big action."
The peloton worked to reel in the break, but Terpstra and Chavanel dragged along six members of the original break as they continued up the road. Terpstra looked strong as he sat on the front of the break though brutal climbs. Terpstra decided to attack on the Paterberg, a 365m climb with 20.3% max ramp and 12.9% average. One rider, Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen), tried to stay on Terpstra's wheel but failed.
"I attacked and I went alone," Terpstra said "I attacked far from the finish. It was maybe a little bit too far, but I knew I had a tailwind. With a headwind, I think it would be impossible to go alone. It was important to make the big effort on the Paterberg, one of the key points of Ronde van Vlaanderen. I am hoping I can be good for the next races and Ronde van Vlaanderen. I had a good feeling when I went alone on the Patersberg."
Chavanel made it a point not to chase in the break as his teammate was up the road. As a result of his work and Terpstra's strength, Terpstra never let the gap get below 40 seconds to the chase group, crossing the line victorious. He earned the 24th win of the season for Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team — 20 of those wins on the road. Terpstra was the 9th different rider to earn a victory. Chavanel, meanwhile, took off on the break with just a few kilometers remaining and beat out De Kort (Project 1t4i) — the only rider able to stick to his wheel— for 2nd place.
"I am really happy," Chavanel said. "It doesn't matter who is the winner, whether me or Niki. I am super happy for him and the team. For me, the most important thing is I am in good shape after the bronchitis I had. Now I feel better and I look forward to the next races. I will ride E3 Prijs Vlaanderen and then De Panne. Last year at De Panne I was 4th. This year — why not — I will try to do a little bit better in De Panne. There is a TT in the last day of racing. The goal for me and the team will remain Ronde van Vlaanderen, however. I hope to do a good race at that moment."