Tim Declercq had to work hard again to catch Greg Van Avermaet and Roger Kluge and give the runners a chance. “I was expecting a relatively calm day, but there seem to be a lot of people interested in joining the trip today.”
“At the end of the day, it’s just a two-rider break, but it also wasn’t about Polle from behind. We had to get serious to grab Van Avermaet and Kluge. We even had to take the Dries Devenyns to get it.”
But the hard work paid off, as Deceuninck-Quick Step saw Mark Cavendish win a second straight sprint. With his 32 stage wins, he’s getting closer and closer to 34 Eddie Merckx.
“This record lives with journalists more than it does with Cav,” says Declercq. “And if he makes it, that doesn’t mean he’s a better driver than Merckx. Cavendish lives more than feelings.”
“He’s proven there again. We should probably rate this win higher than the previous one. A lot of riders would be content with this one victory in his setting, but you can see he has the mentality of a champion.”
“Our run can’t go wrong anymore. But if you know this team, you know we won’t let another chance pass.”