03 October 2016
THE FACT OF THE DAY
Oliver Naesen took second place in a very controversial sprint. Though IAM Cycling lodged an official complaint, the jury of commissioners ruled that Dylan Groenewegen (JumboNL-Lotto) would remain the winner of the day.
From Oliver Naesen: I have no regrets. But I am very angry. To conduct a sprint as Dylan Groenewegen is shameful. He could have caused me to crash, which would have put my participation at the World Championships in doubt.
I thought we were going to reach the finish with only the front three riders, Naesen explained. And of that small group, I was certainly the fastest. I believed strongly in my chances to take the victory. But then with only a few meters to the line we were caught by the chasers. I launched my sprint at that moment and went to the left side of the road. You know what followed, and we can do nothing to change anything.
THE STRAIGHT TALK
From Rik Verbrugghe. The decision of the jury commissioners is what it is. Nevertheless, I will make a claim to the UCI. My rider had to have crashed in order to declassify the winner, and thats not normal. In fact, I think Nacer Bouhanni was relegated in Hamburg for less. When the UCI decides to relegate a ride because of a dangerous sprint once, then it must be consistent in the case of another incident.
Simon Pellaud and Marcel Aregger. Present in the second peloton at the finish, both IAM Cycling riders are still without a contract for next year, though they have proved once again their resilience and courage. Only 35 riders managed to finish the race in Tournai.
46.4km/h. Thats the average speed the riders pegged for the first hour of racing on Sunday. Between the hilly profile and the unpredictable weather, that shows what the course demanded.
Pictures – Mathilde L’Azou & IAM Cycling