Thursday, April 3, 2014

Van Keirsbulck Wins VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde

Bodnar triumphs in final time trial stage

Maciej Bodnar (Cannondale) took a storming victory on the final stage of the Three Days of de Panne with a time of 17:51, three seconds ahead of Jan Barta (NetApp-Endura). The win is Bodnar's first, outside of the national championships since a team time trial win at the Giro d’Italia in 2010.

Bodnar looked comfortable along the short route, even overtaking Youcef Reguigui (MTN-Qhubeka), who started two minutes ahead of him. With several specialists still to take to the road, it was a tense wait for the Polish rider, but his time proved unassailable.

Guillaume van Keirsbulck (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) took the first general classification victory of his career, ahead of Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEDGE). Van Keirsbulck started the day with a nine-second deficit to teammate Gert Steegmans, but rode a fine time trial to lose only 10 seconds to the winner. The 23-year-old has had a very good start to the year, with wins in the young rider’s classification at the Tour of Qatar and Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen.

As we got towards the pointy end of the general classification, the times began to tumble, with the hot seat turning into a game of musical chairs, as three consecutive riders took their place at the top of the standings. David Boucher ( was the first to dip under the 18 minutes mark, before Barta and Bodnar both went faster.

Durbridge was the fastest GC rider over the 14.3 kilometre course, but it wasn’t enough to overhaul the 11 second gap that Van Keirsbulck had over him at the start of the day. “My goal was the podium this week,” said Durbridge. “I am really happy with the podium. Thanks to my team for all the work that they’ve done this week.”

“I’ve always thrived on this king of course. It’s my third time at the de Panne and I think that I’m getting the hang of it. Maybe one day I can get on the podium of one of the big classics.” Durbridge will be riding his first Tour of Flanders this weekend.

Race favourite Niki Terpstra lost time, after he unclipped at the start. The misfortune cost him valuable time and ended up dropping off the podium. Steegmans benefitted from his teammate’s bad luck and held on for third place, giving Omega Pharma-QuickStep three of the top four places in the general classification.

After two disappointing sprints, Marcel Kittel channelled his energy into the final time trial. Harking back to his time as a junior rider, where he won the world junior time trial title twice, the German put in an impressive time. He finished sixth on the day, 13 seconds behind Bodnar, and ended the three days in fifth place overall.

Article Source: Cycling News 

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