Posted by Editoress on 03/26/11
Team Director, Steve Bauer said the goal of the team was to sit tight and follow the peloton for 50 kilometres and be ready to place a man in the breakaway as the race entered the first hills and cobbles. The main goal was clear: we would do everything in our power to make sure Svein Tuft would stay out of trouble, place him in the front positions for the most important climbs after the feed zone, which would launch the race into the difficult final phase. We knew Svein was poised for an excellent day if we had no bad luck.
The team was active before the feed zone and Ryan Roth managed to get away for a short time - eventually to be caught. The first group to really establish a lead went away before the first tough hill called "La Houpe". A chase group of five men formed in time, which contained Team SpiderTech's Hugo Houle. The two lead groups never formed together. Before the Eikenberg, Cancellara punctured, took a wheel from a teammate and regained the peloton. Tuft, Lacombe, McCarty, Roth held good front positions as the chase really began and absorbed Houle's counter-attack group. Out of Ronse, on the cobbled Kruisberg, Svein Tuft made a smart move jumping into an attack group which went clear of the peloton and they made chase through the important Patterberg. Cancellara would inevitably blast apart the peloton on the Oude Kwaremont and bridged to Svein's chase group.
Svein Tuft explained: "When Cancellara caught us, he immediately tried to attack us to go to the front because he knew he would need to do the work. We were just hanging on his wheel. When we regrouped with the front, O'Grady rode a bit but when Fabian hit it, he just went like a motorcycle. I have never seen something like that. Since I was alone in the front, perhaps I covered too many attacks, which I regretted in the final few kilometres, but overall I am super happy about my race. This is such a tough race - and being right in the battle for the second place battle felt really good." Tuft finished in 13th place.
"I am extremely happy with the ride our team did today. The men did a great job for Svein and he came through solid for us. For Svein to be in that select group of 14 riders in E3-Prijs is a testament to his talent. The two races in Waragem and E3 were Svein's first time racing both events, and I can say he is built for these Classics. Impressive Mr. Tuft," commented Directeur Sportif Steve Bauer.
Next Race: April 1 - UCI 1.1 Route Adelie de Vitre, France
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