Cobbled Classics win quantity 62 simply wasn’t to be for Soudal-QuickStep at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday. The Belgian staff have racked up the wins by means of spring yearly since their basis again in 2003, however by means of 21 editions of the Belgian season openers have ‘solely’ 4 on the collective palmarès.
There are many races and loads of probabilities left this spring. That is, in any case, the primary of the lot. However for a staff used to successful and being the very best at it within the peloton, Davide Ballerini’s sixth place in Ninove wasn’t an event for celebration.
First up, there was Kasper Asgreen‘s sickness holding the 2021 Tour of Flanders winner and Classics co-leader out of motion, after which, throughout the race itself, perennial domestique of the 12 months contender Tim Declercq was taken out of the operating because of a crash.
There was unhealthy luck, then, however of the riders who have been contesting the second half of a race dominated by Dutch squad Jumbo-Visma, it simply wasn’t a ok exhibiting.
“It is not solely the outcome right here right now. Ballerini was sixth, however he was by no means within the race,” Wilfred Peeters, former Classics star and lead directeur sportif on the staff, instructed Cyclingnews after the race.
“OK, we had a nasty second with the crash of Tim Declercq. however we have been driving behind right now and we’ll take away a bit of lesson about this.
“It is not the primary time right here that we have now not had good outcomes. However we are able to see that we have received within the UAE with Merlier and we have received within the Ardeche with Alaphilippe as properly. Coming in the direction of the primary a part of the Classics we could be pleased about this.”
Yves Lampaert, a co-leader at Omloop together with Frenchman Florian Sénéchal, briefly stopped on the end – few riders had a lot inclination to take action within the freezing situations – to present his perspective.
“There’s work to be accomplished. We had our share of unhealthy luck – Declercq falling, Sénéchal having unhealthy luck. It wasn’t our day. Ballerini rode a robust remaining, although,” the Belgian instructed the assembled media simply previous the end line.
“I needed to put my foot down on the Muur. Whenever you do this, you realize your race is over. This is not what we have been hoping for.”
Peeters admitted that his staff obtained it incorrect on a day which noticed Jumbo set the tempo early, taking command and attacking a number of occasions earlier than Dylan van Baarle’s in the end profitable long-range effort.
“I believe the fellows realise it wasn’t good. You might see it from midway by means of the race – with their first acceleration, Jumbo-Visma instantly rode away,” he instructed Het Nieuwsblad. “We had agreed earlier than the race to not take management, however that does not imply we go to sleep. We must always have been with that – if it’s a must to chase as soon as, you chase for the entire day.”
Sunday is one other day, although, bringing with it the second half of Opening Weekend within the form of the extra sprinter-friendly Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne.
It is the spring race QuickStep have skilled essentially the most pleasure at, having received 9 occasions through the years, together with three of the previous 4 editions with Bob Jungels, Asgreen, and, final 12 months, with Fabio Jakobsen.
The Dutch sprinter can be once more on Sunday to salvage an Opening Weekend outcome for the staff, and Ballerini, Lampaert and Sénéchal can be again to assist him out, too. Final 12 months, staff boss Patrick Lefevere was available to give the squad a ‘motivational speech’ of types forward of Kuurne following a disappointing exhibiting at Omloop.
Peeters, nonetheless, sounded a phrase of warning for anybody anticipating it to be a assured dash end with Jakobsen zooming to his second win of the season.
“The race is tough, eh? It is more durable and more durable yearly. It is not just for the sprinters. However we hope to do properly.”