VDK Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Stage 1: Two #OPQS in Top 10 Out of Select Group
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Gert Steegmans finished 4th, and Niki Terpstra 8th, in the first stage of 201km VDK Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Stage 1 on Tuesday.
The two OPQS riders joined Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, who was ahead in a seven rider escape group, after they followed an attack of Peter Sagan (Cannondale) with 9.2km to go. That attack brought several riders across to the escape group, forming a 12-rider selection that would go on to decide the stage.
It would be Sagan who went on to take the stage victory, with teammate Oscar Gatto placing 2nd, and Kenneth Vanbilsen (Topsoort-Vlaanderen Baloise) finishing 3rd.
VDK Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde has come down to the final time trial the past two editions, so any time gaps and bonus seconds are crucial. Terpstra, who was 3rd overall in 2013, protected his ability to contest the GC in the last days by making the select group. Arnaud Demare (FDJ.fr) and Luke Durbridge (ORICA-GreenEDGE) finished 11" back, while the peloton finished 19" back from the breakaway riders.