Team Visma | Lease a Bike puts up a fight, but comes short in Tour of Flanders

Team Visma | Lease a Bike puts up a fight, but comes short in Tour of Flanders

Team Visma | Lease a Bike put up a fight in the Tour of Flanders to get a good result. The team took the initiative at certain moments in the race, but the absence of Wout van Aert, Christophe Laporte and Jan Tratnik made itself felt. Tiesj Benoot finished fifteenth.

For much of the race, the riders of Team Visma | Lease a Bike were well in front. Matteo Jorgensen saw himself flanked well into the race by teammates Benoot, Dylan van Baarle and Tim van Dijke. With about sixty kilometers remaining, it became a man-on-man battle, with the final decision on the Koppenberg.

There almost the entire, by now considerably reduced, peloton had to set foot on ground. Only Van der Poel, Jorgensen and Mads Pedersen arrived at the top of the Flemish cobbled hill riding. Van der Poel created a gap, with Jorgenson as the first pursuer. The American did all he could, but was not able to close the gap. In the end, Jorgenson was outpaced by the chasers, including Benoot.

"This was a very tough edition of the Tour of Flanders," Benoot commented. "The legs felt pretty good. Unfortunately, I had to deal with some mechanical bad luck. On the Oude Kwaremont I made a mistake which caused my rear derailleur to take a hit. I was able to change it a while later. In the finale I unfortunately had a flat tire. Maybe otherwise I could have fought for a place on the podium, but that's how it is. It was a very hard day. We tried as a team, but unfortunately the competition proved too strong today."

"We tried as a team"

Tiesj Benoot

"This was one of my toughest days ever on the bike," Jorgenson said. "I did everything I could to win the race. I knew I had to follow Van der Poel and gave it my all to be on his wheel. Unfortunately, I had to let him go. I went full to close the gap, but it just didn't work. Then it was all over for me. Van der Poel rode very smart and strong today. He is definitely the deserved winner. We fought as a team and did our best. I'm proud of that fighting spirit."

Sports director Grischa Niermann gave his view after the race. "We had a plan beforehand, and I think the guys executed it well. We went down fighting. Matteo proved very strong on the Koppenberg and almost got to Van der Poel's wheel, but unfortunately he had to pay for his effort moments later. Matteo doesn't have many 270-kilometer races in his legs, so it makes sense the tank eventually ran out. Anyway, it was a learning day for him. We had hoped to create a nice situation in the race, we did our best for that. It's not the result we came here for, but we leave the battlefield with our heads held high anyway," the German concluded.

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