Danny van Poppel (Trek Factory Racing) won the first stage of the 3 Days of West Flanders. The young pro from Holland was able to beat Danilo Napolitano (Wanty Group – Gobert) and Scott Thwaites (NetApp-Endura) into the minor positions.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung suffered some more bad luck when team captain, Gerald Ciolek, had to abandon the race after suffering with an illness for a few days now. “Gerald is not well now but he is on antibiotics in order to get well before Tirreno,” said DS Jens Zemke.
Stage 1 saw an early break go containing 4 riders who would press open an advantage of just over 5 and half minutes. Being a rather flat stage and Cofidis wanting to defend their leader’s jersey, the break was brought back with 60km to go.
With still quite a bit of racing to go before the finish another break group would form of 6 riders. With the line approaching though, they weren’t allowed to get much more than a minutes lead. A number of riders then tried solo attacks but none were successful and the bunch sprint soon followed.
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)