After a very hard week Wanty-Groupe Gobert lined up for the Tour of Flanders with Frederik Backaert, Dimitri Claeys, Björn Thurau, Tom Devriendt, Marco Marcato, Jérôme Baugnies, Kenny Dehaes and Kévin Van Melsen.
After an impressive minute of silence and an applause on a packed Bruges Market Square for Antoine Demoitié, Wanty-Groupe Gobert reacted with a fitting salute to Antoine via Dimitri Claeys’s ninth place.
“I was very motivated to do something for Antoine and for Daan (Myngheer). We missed the early break but made up for that in the final of the race. Peter Sagan and Sep Vanmarcke were just too strong so I couldn’t follow them but then I wanted to sprint as well as I could to get a good result,” Claeys declared.
“Our goal today was to anticipate and Dimitri did just that by riding to the front with Gruzdev when the gap of the breakaway was down to a minute. On the Koppenberg a group gained ground on the leaders fast but we had Marco Marcato well-positioned in that group so that was reassuring,” sports director Hilaire Van Der Schueren explains the plan of the day.
“I had hoped Claeys could follow on the Kwaremont but when that isn’t possible, I absolutely can’t blame him. I am really happy with the entire team, not just with Dimitri. This is a fantastic result after a really tough week.”
Marco Marcato was the team’s second rider in the top 25 of the Tour of Flanders.
“In the final, on Koppenberg, I tried something but it was Peter Sagan himself who closed the gap,” Marcato tells his story of the day.
“Then I waited until Oude Kwaremont. The legs were better than I had anticipated but on Paterberg it was just too much. However, I am happy with today’s result. I leave a lot of good riders behind me.”
Wanty-Groupe Gobert’s next cycling monument is just around the corner. In seven days the team starts in Paris-Roubaix.
“Today’s race gives me confidence for Paris-Roubaix. I know I can be there in the first 20. Paris-Roubaix is very special. We have a very strong team which is really motivated after a top ten in one of cycling’s monuments. We are all a bit more relaxed now, have more confidence and we will improve with every race,” Marcato concludes.
Press Office Team Wanty-Groupe Gobert