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
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 (FDJ.fr) 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