Jannik Steimle (Deceuninck-Quickstep) took a solo victory at the Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen today. Timo Roosen (Jumbo-Visma) & Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) rounded out the podium.
It was a day of fast and windy racing around Koolskamp, with the definitive echelons forming in the final 40km of the race. Initially a group of 35-odd riders made the front echelon with around 5 laps (11km laps) remaining, we had 5-riders represented in that front split.
2 laps later and a few other riders had been dropped but Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka still had both our sprinters in the lead group, Giacomo Nizzolo and Mark Cavendish.
Deceunick-Quickstep had the numbers advantage in the final group and only after incessant attacking, did Steimle manage to slip away on the final lap. With his teammates covering all attempts to bridge across to the German stagiaire, the Deceuninck rider went on to claim a memorable victory.
Cavendish provided Nizzolo, and the rest of chase group, with a late final leadout but Steimle had 4 seconds to spare at the line. Nizzolo would end with 8th place in the end for us.
“Today was one of those crazy races, where we did 17 laps of a windy circuit. The race was on fire from lap 1, there were several splits in the bunch with our team pulling and in front. Then with around 5 laps to go the bunch split, and then again on the next laps, we were around 30 riders in front with Cav and I there. Then it was a bit of a lottery, I felt good but it was a lottery. Attacks left and right, I followed a few but then I decided to wait because I couldn’t follow everyone. In the sprint I missed a little the timing but I am happy about the legs. After 20 days off from racing, it was a pretty hard race to come back, with these 17 laps. I finished 8th which I think is okay given the lottery situation in the final.” – Giacomo Nizzolo