Posted by Editoress on 03/4/12
Note: The results provided in this report do not match the official results from the organizer, which have Zach Bell as the top SpiderTech finisher, however, we have been assured by SpiderTech that this is the actual situation at the end of the race.
On Sunday the third and final stage of Driedaagse van West Vlaanderen (3 Days of West Flanders) took place in in Belgium, and Julien Vermote of World Tour Team Omega Pharma-Quickstep won top honors overall.
The third stage, a 186.5-kilometre ride between Nieuwpoort and Ichtegem in Belgium, ended in similar fashion to yesterday, in a bunch sprint. Arnaud Démare of French team Française-Des-Jeux-Bigmat, was the fastest of the day, crossing the finish line ahead of Alexander Porsev of Team Katusha and Kenny Van Humel of Team Vancansoleil-DCM.
Yesterday, Démare climbed on the second step of the podium. Despite two podiums in two consecutive days, Friday's prologue and the weather on Day 3 were the determining factors in the final outcome of this coveted race.
At TeamSpiderTech, Keven Lacombe of Montréal, was the top finisher, in 17th place - the only SpiderTech rider to complete the race.
Kevin Field, directeur sportif for Team SpiderTech: “We had a good plan to approach all stages, and it went well until the cobbles on the Steenstraat after 132 kilometres of racing. Then everything went pear-shaped FAST. If it were not for the rain, this cobble section may not have been a big deal. But with the mud covering the wet cobbles ... carnage is the only word that can describe what happened on this two kilometre section of road. And we were the victims of this carnage.”
“When the dust settled we had one rider in front - Lacombe,” added Field. “On the one hand we are steeped in disappointment. On the other, what can you say? It was a beautiful day, a classic Belgian day, filled with the drama that makes cycling an amazing sport ... but there was no good luck or favours for team SpiderTech today. It happens, we pick ourselves up, lick our wounds and move on.”
Very early in the race, a break attacked the peloton, which did not respond. The group of seven riders quickly formed. With 42 kilometeres to go, a counter-attack of ten riders joined the leading group, taking it up to 17 cyclists.
This leading group remained intact until the final 20 kilometres of the race, when the peloton decided to regain control of the race.
There were several crashes in the pack during this last stage - six in total - which were caused by rain that fell earlier in the race and made the road slippery. Team SpiderTech was not spared by those crashes. Zach Bell was involved in a crash, and did not finish the race.
More Team SpiderTech riders were forced to abandon the race. Ryan Roth stopped for medical reasons, while Ryan Anderson and Guillaume Boivin punctured in key moments of the race. Simon Lambert-Lemay stopped to service his teammate Guillaume Boivin, and was also forced to abandon.
No SpiderTech riders were severely injured during the race.
The SpiderTech team will participate in two races next weekend. Friday, the team will be on the starting line of the Ronde van Drenthe, while on Saturday they will participate in the Albert Achterhes Ronde van Drenthe. Both races are in the Netherlands, and are part of the UCI Europe Tour circuit.
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