Posted by Editoress on 03/4/11
We expected Svein to be in game and show well, yet we were unsure how a recent bout of the 24 flu (last day in Sardinia) would affect him. We are happy with the outcome and also happy to see how the other guys raced.
After the race Tuft said "I'm really happy with my ride. I'm just lacking a bit of speed - that you only get from racing. The Giro Sardinia race was great, but it was such a tough race I didn't develop that speed. It was good engine building."
Svein's result puts us in great position for the next two stages. Radio Shack have four riders in the top five on GC right now so we're are in a Shack sandwich. We expect The Shack will ride to control the race now which will be good for us.
Sport Director Steve Bauer commented, "It is exciting to be with the Team in Flanders, the region I made home for ten years as a pro cyclist. The race here, the routes, the wind, the cobbles, imprints a typical style of racing which means attentiveness, vigilance, and strength. I hope to be able to impart my experience to the guys and give them the inspiration to challenge. Now Svein has done a great prologue the team will be supporting him yet seeking opportunities."
Team RadioShack's Jesse Sergent said, "This is my first pro victory. What a feeling! This is pretty special and I am happy to give back something to the people who have believed in me. This morning after I checked the course I felt quite confident. It was not a technical course; there were only three corners and long straights. I could use constant power the entire time. I had a feeling I would do a good ride and I'm very happy right now!"
Team Director Dirk Demol added, "Jesse was strong. It was all flat but the last 3.5k had a head wind. It's strange, but Jesse even accelerated there when others died. At the mid-way point he had the same split time as Rosseler, then you see the big difference at the end. Jesse deserves it. All riders did the race in the same conditions. Séba was good too and this is promising for him. He still needs to lose some kilos so he'll be ok at the classics. It's also nice what Bewley did - and he's a pursuit rider. And then Kwiatkowski, a former world champion and double European champion and Oliveira, a three-time national time trial champion. Wow! Now we will try to win the overall too but it won't be easy."
It was an out-and-back flat course through Middelkerke with a long finishing straight along the coast.
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