CyclingE3 Harelbeke wasn’t great, Gent-Wevelgem wasn’t good, and Dwars door Vlaanderen was downright bad. In Quick.Step-Alpha Vinyl they can no longer deny they have a problem. “This is not our spring. We only have one captain for the tour: Asgreen.” Or will the team conjure up another bunny from the hat? Guess who went to practice yesterday at Oude Kwaremont.
Kasper Asgreen, winner of last year’s Tour of Flanders and E3, was not at Dwars door Vlaanderen. Without his strongest man, Quick.Step Alpha Vinyl fell across the ice. Jannik Steimle became 14th, 27th for Yves Lampaert, and 61st for Zdenek Styrbar. They were followed by the butlers Bert van Lerberge, Stijn Stills and Tim DeKlerk, who returned again. Runner Fabio Jacobsen did not reach the finish line.
“We go after the facts,” Yves Lambert stated. “If 15 guys are driving away and no one from the team is with them, you’re not good enough.”
In past races, I’ve seen quite a few riders forced to look for bright spots, for reasons to stay positive. Lambert made no effort to do so, and his colleagues also stopped using it. The facts are as they are and no one can deny them yet. Lambert: “This is not our spring.”
Cycling is not the same as football, where sometimes a lack of effort is the cause of poor performance. You can never suspect that they are bad faith in Quick.Step. Lambert and his colleagues cleared of mucus on their way to Wargem. West Fleming pointed to another problem. “We drive with half a dispensary. So it is no surprise that he doesn’t go out anymore.”
He had just returned from acute bronchitis, but the consequences still lingered in his body. “I stop with every deep effort. And at Berg Ten Hute, I also entered the fender. For a moment I thought my hand was broken.” Staybar, Ballerini and Honore have also recently fallen ill. Senchal has had a lot of bad luck in recent weeks.
“Listen to the names you list,” Sten Stills said. “This is our entire second streak. These are the guys right below Asgreen who usually break the track and make it difficult. But they’re gone. You can’t expect us, the helpers, to take on that role. We can’t.”
Lambert: “The block width has disappeared.”
Leader Asgreen, surprise Alaphilippe?
The last man standing is Kasper Asgreen. The Dane did well, but is that enough to put the team on the map in the remaining paved races? Stills is convinced: “Wout might stand out, but Kasper is second. For me he’s one of the best candidates in the Tour of Flanders. This course is longer and that suits him. Tactically, space is very limited: we don’t have more pawns to play with. We only have one captain. “.
Lambert again: “Sunday is all about Asgreen. It’s our hope.”
Or are they conjuring up another surprise in Quick.Step? This afternoon, Julian Alaphilippe trained with a few of his Ronde track mates. It has passed on to Oude Kwaremont, among others. is not it? It doesn’t necessarily mean anything. The French world champion owns an apartment in Rons: it would have been a “normal” training session.
Tim Declercq: ‘It’s hard to reverse negative flow’
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