Yves Lampaert wins Belgian National ITT Championships
After two years in which he finished runner-up, the Quick-Step Floors rider has finally won the race against the clock on home turf, notching the team's 33rd UCI victory of the season.
2017 is shaping up to be Yves Lampaert's best season since turning pro. Winner of Dwars door Vlaanderen three months ago and part of the team that helped Philippe Gilbert take a memorable victory at De Ronde van Vlaanderen, Yves now crowned himself Belgian Time Trial Champion, following a brilliant ride on the Chimay motor circuit.
Four Quick-Step Floors riders participated in the 38.2km-long race on Thursday afternoon: Dries Devenyns, Laurens De Plus, Yves Lampaert and Julien Vermote. First to roll down the ramp was Dries, who rode a solid ITT and stopped the clock in 48:13, remaining in the hot seat for more than an hour. Two riders improved that result, before Yves went out on the course and scorched the circuit in 46:43, putting in a blistering ride and setting the reference time at both intermediate splits, before sealing one of the biggest wins of his career.
At the end of the day, Lampaert's time – which landed his maiden success at the Nationals – was 17 seconds faster than the one of last year's champion, Victor Campanaerts (LottoNL-Jumbo), who crashed in the last bend and finished runner-up, ahead of Ben Hermans (BMC).
"This is a dream come true! I rode hard, fought hard and worked hard to finally get this title. Last year I came close, missing out on the win for just three seconds, and that's why this season I was so eager to get the victory", said after the finish Yves, who in his build-up to the National Championships rode the Tour de Suisse.
"Sweating in those mountains wasn't easy, but it's been worth it. It helped me on this parcours, which was very tough, especially due to the wind and heat. I had a very fast start, but then, in the second part, I slowed down for a moment before pushing the pedal to the metal once again and going in super fast mode all the way to the finish line", a beaming Yves explained.
Next up for Lampaert is the road race, which will take place on Sunday, over a course sprinkled with cobblestones, very much to his liking: "I am so happy right now, that I can't put it into words. I'm very honoured to finally wear these beautiful colors on my jersey. Now I can't wait for Sunday to come; I am relaxed after this victory, but at the same time super motivated and I can tell you that we're going to do everything to fight for the jersey and keep it in the team."
Photo credit: © Tim De Waele