The prologue of the 3 Days of West Flanders saw the 2nd year pro from Cofidis, Gert Joeaar, power his way home in a time of 7’53” to take the win and the first leader’s jersey of the race. Johan Le Bon (FDJ.fr) finished 2nd, 5 seconds of the pace and Kristof Vandewalle (Trek Factory Racing) was 3rd, 8 seconds back.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had all its riders get around the course unscathed with both Jaco Venter and Ignatas Konovalovas recording times of 8’23” to finish 31st and 32nd respectively. Venter was content with his ride today considering he had just finished a course of medication. “The prologue went okay. It was a pretty straight forward out and back course with a lot of wind so it was really just a case of being consistent over the 7km,” said Venter.
“I have been sick since Omloop het Nieuwsblad and just finished my antibiotics today but I didn’t feel as bad as I expected. I am happy with my condition heading into the next 2 days now,” concluded Venter.
Stage 1 of the 3 Days of West Flanders will see the riders take on 183km of fairly flat road. On paper, one could expect a bunch sprint finish tomorrow. There are 2 noted climbs on route though, the Oude Kwaremont and the Tiegemberg, while both climbs aren’t all that long they may be enough to split the group up a bit. If the wind is blowing as it often does in this part of the world then we could see a select group come to the line.
3 Days of West Flanders (Belgium) – (7-9 March/UCI 2.1)
Gerald Ciolek (GER)
Andreas Stauff (GER)
Martin Reimer (GER)
Johann van Zyl (RSA)
Jay Thomson (RSA)
Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU)
Jaco Venter (RSA)
Staff: Jens Zemke (Sports Director), Dr Frederik van der Colff (Doctor), Bastian Buffel (Soigneur), Nico Beyens (Soigneur), Jim Bryan (Mechanic), Werner Lenk (Mechanic), Stevie Christaens (Mechanic)