"I could not ask for more from our boys today, but …" he shrugged. Elia Viviani, Quick-Step sprinter, behind the Wevelge goal.
After the typical "but," two words followed, trying to express the story of his mass outbreak. It will probably be more concise if we leave those words untranslated, that is, in the original English version of Viviani.
He just suffered a hard-to-digest defeat at the end of the race, for which his teammates prepared him an excellent starting position when, after a huge effort, they drew a great group lead. Peter Sagan and then eliminated all attacks from other opponents.
But Viviani, the Italian champion and the most successful sprinter on last year's Grand Tour, turned nineteen.
"Still Zdeněk Štybar one Philippe Gilbert they did a great job for me too Tim DeclercqEven though he had been on the run before, he was trying to pull the pace, "he said sadly.
WORKING ON IT. Elia Viviani at the Italian championship at the Gent-Wevelgem track.
Thirty-four horsemen went together to the last kilometer, where Viviani was about to assess the work of the partners. He had the idea of a strategy: "I was clinging to Kristoff's wheel, which seemed to me the strongest."
Alexander Kristoff Originally, he should not be the final player in his stable of the Emirates; Fernando Gavirifor whom Kristoff should start running. But Nor, who won the Monument Around Flanders in 2015 after incredible ground, showed he was doing very well on his last climb of the day at Kemmelberg.
Ten kilometers ahead, Gaviria told him: "I do not feel the best, try to stimulate me."
Kristoff temporarily slipped into the pack in the back, gaining strength before heading off to the winning mission in the last 300 meters.
Viviani wanted to follow him.
"But at that moment, Gaviria came in behind and protected Kristoff's rear wheel," the Italian told Gaviri the same colors as the team last year. "Kristoff then had a ride, while I was locked from Gaviriou to the left and to the right." Matěj Mohorič from the right. Two hundred meters before the end, I basically stopped walking.
Thirty-one-year-old Kristoff eventually deflected all other opponents' attacks and spoke enthusiastically of the primacy that saved his hitherto unsuccessful spring: "It's one of the biggest wins of my career. extremely difficult, everyone was on the edge, but it is in this situation that I can train better than others. "
DEZ NEJSILNÍJ. Alexander Kristoff wins.
Viviani, on the other hand, lamented. Last year, after a major loss to Sagan at the end of the race, Gent-Wevelgem, he began to cry: "Sometimes you have space and happiness in your outbreak." Other times, you think you're holding a good position, but you're out of the Top 10 at the end. I feel a big disappointment with my team. I know I have a win here. I have the best team around me. Maybe next year pay good. "
All for Eli, give up your ambitions
The great classic Victorian Quick-Step series in the 2019 season was discontinued on Sunday, but the stable website headline still held an optimistic tone: "Fantastic team effort."
It was the fastest edition of the Gent-Wevelg class ever, with an average speed of 46.27 km / h.
Before the start, Zdeněk Štybar recalled that his team was trying to create classics and not get on the defensive. This time, however, he came into this when, during the first half of the race, a very strong group of refugees formed in the side wind, not only Sagan and Gaviria, but also Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel or Niki Terpstra – and from Quick-Step only the assistant team of Tim Declercq.
"It was difficult for us then. We thought we could quickly get them down but it did not work out, "Stybar said.
"We have not panicked yet and tried to organize ourselves," said Philippe Gilbert.
Sagan's group gradually slowed down to five, but it was still a one minute advantage. Shtybar tried twice to attack and leave the main field, but his rivals "pulled" him back.
So the Quick-Step drivers were clear: we have to reach the refugees so that Elia Viviani can win the victory.
The biggest stars in the stable were also involved in this effort.
Like you Patrick Lefevere, head of Quick-Step, before the season by digging for Shtybar, saying he can prove he is a star this season, not even a Belgian champion before Sunday's race Yves Lampaert.
He won the classic Dwars Vlaanderen door last year and raised his salary on Quick-Step, but he has not had any significant results lately. Among other things, Lefevere criticized Lampaert for losing contact with van Avermaet, Stybar et al.
"That Yves was in a bad position by dividing the Paterberg camp?" That's no excuse, because everyone knows that Paterberg is a key position, "Lefevere said.
On Sunday was Lampaert, who sacrificed in Kemmelberg, 35 kilometers ahead of the target, while leading the main field in an effort to reduce the distance behind the Sagan group.
"They did not tell me to help," Lampaert said. "But the lead of the Sagan group was one minute, our Tim (Declercq) he was no longer in it, and I did not feel super strong. So I played my own ambitions to keep our other boys fresher. "
After Kemmelberg, in the last three decades, even more work to create the rhythm at the top of the pack, Gilbert and Shtybar.
First, they reached Saganovce, and liquidated the attacks of others, including that of their former partner, Terpstry. "We were checking out Eliya's package. Each of us got deep enough," Gilbert said.
Stybar nodded, "As I retired for a moment to recover, after 30 seconds, Phil called me: Pull the tip one more time. It seemed impossible for me to squeeze, but I did.It's beautiful what we are able to show one for the other ".
Whoever saw the bulldog expression on the Czech cyclist's face while working at the top, he signs his words with a clear conscience.
"Everything I did today is proof to me that I have a good form before Flanders. We surrender everything. It is unfortunate that Elia was pushed out and could not be expelled. We can regret this more, "he said.
Gilbert said, "As we regenerate next Sunday, it will be crucial."
And now three monuments within four weeks
Shtybar omits the classic world-class door of Dwars, Vlaanderen, with Gilbert Quick-Step, Lampaert and absentees on Sunday Bob Jungels.
"As Dwars develops, let's talk about the Sunday Flanders tactics," Stybar said. Meanwhile, Quick-Step will re-enter the second Monument of the Season with four leaders.
Quick-Step Winning Classics
in the season 2019
Cadel Evans Race:
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad:
Milan – San Remo (1st monument):
E3 BinckBank Classic:
TOUR OF EUROPE
The Belgian side likes to say that it is a classic version of the Sky team, which dominates the most prestigious one-day races, with a dominance similar to that of the British in the races of the Grand Tour.
"And we do it with only half the budget that Sky has," emphasizes Lefevere, that the British have as much as 40 million pounds a year.
The defeat at Gent-Wevelgem can now also be beneficial to Quick-Step.
"At least one night I do not have to drink champagne," joked the director of sports Wilfried Peetersto which he added earnestly: "It was a good warning for the most important races for us.It is always a good idea to occasionally hit the head on the wall and get back on the ground with our feet.We have been shown by other teams that they are ready to hit us. I'm afraid we'll see more teams against us in Flanders. "
Three monuments await in the next four weeks: data competitions around Flanders and Paris-Roubaix and mountainous Ardennes test Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
"The previous victories do not guarantee anything, we are still only half way. Big races are coming. Come and ask Liège how satisfied we are, "Lefevere told reporters.
Immediately he tuned in to the upbeat note: "But with boys like Gilbert, Shtybar and Lampaert, I'm not worried about going to Flanders and Roubaix."