The 3 Days of De Panne concluded today with the 2 half stages. The mornings 111km road stage saw a bunch kick with Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) taking his 3rd stage in a row. The afternoon time trial would be the Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) show as the Brit won the final stage with time to spare.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung highlight of the day came in the form Jay Thomson. Jay made the early break of the day during the road stage with 12 other riders. The stage was short, but fast and furious and Jay and his breakaway compatriots fought valiantly to establish a lead.
As the gap hovered between 45″ and a minute, it always looked like the sprinters would have their day. As the race hit the final 10km’s a gap of 40″ had been maintained and there was a belief among the breakaway riders. Unfortunately it was not to be Jay’s day and the escape was caught inside of 3km to go.
The time trial didn’t hold much in store for our African team as none of our riders are known specialists against the clock. They gave the course a good crack though with Nic Dougall being the highest placed finisher on the day in 43rd, 1’22” behind the world champion Wiggins.
After a solid time trial effort, Kristoff was able to hold on to the overall lead and win the 3 Days of De Panne overall. Stijn Devolder (Trek Factory Racing) took 2nd as Wiggins moved up to 3rd after the final time trial. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung now look ahead to the weekends 2nd Monument of the year, the Ronde van Vlaanderen.
Nic Dougall – Rider
I had a big effort yesterday so wasn’t expecting too much but it was nice to go out and give it my best. I felt like I lost a lot of time in the corners, always something to improve on and will definitely aim to improve on that next time.
Michel Cornelisse – Sport Director
In the morning we had a very strong Jay in the move which was good for us. Our problem was that Theo Bos crashed out the race, that man just has no luck lately. In the sprint we were there with 3 riders but we just lost our way a bit in the final kilometer so no result today. In the time trial we had no specialist so it was an uneventful stage to end of the 3 Days of De Panne for us.