Report: Nokere Koerse – Danlith Classic

The 69th Nokere Koerse – Danlith Classic was won by Kenny Dehaes of the Lotto-Belisol team. Dehaes beat Tom van Asbroek (Topsport Vlaanderen) and Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr) in a sprint finish after the 199km of racing.

The Belgian classic saw a large group of 17 riders escape the peloton in the early kilometres of the race. The size of the group and just the pure nature of the Belgian type classic races would not allow these escapees much room to build up a lead. Under the pressure of the peloton, the break would only get up to a 2’33” lead before they started to crack as riders dropped one by one back to the peloton.

Gert Steegmans (Omega Pharma – QuickStep) and Yves Lampaert (Topsport Vlaanderen) were the last two riders from the break to resist the pelotons chase. The 2 Belgian riders attacked the break in the final 15km’s but would eventually be caught in the final kilometre as their maximum lead of 30” would never have been enough to deter a chase from the peloton.

Martin Reimer was the designated leader for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung today and while no great result was achieved, an improvement on the racing from Drenthe was made. “It was really fast all day today, because of the big break there was no chance to rest. We were gambling on the race coming down to a sprint which it eventually did. I had a decent position with 1km to go and when the sprint started to open up I choose the wrong side of the road to make my move on. I didn’t have the best legs today either so after having to brake and then accelerate again on the cobbles, while going uphill in the finale, it was not so easy,” said Reimer after the finish. He would end up finishing in 33rd position on the day.

The Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung squad from the Nokere Koerse will now head to the Handzame Classic on Friday where a better result is expected.

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