It was the first Belgian race for our riders this season — the first efforts against the wind, the bad weather, the Belgian roads… Benoit Jarrier featured in the breakaway and then managed to help Andre Greipel who was assisted by Kevin Ledanois.
Andre Greipel took eighth place in the 2019 edition of Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne.
Andre Greipel :
“I found myself in the front with Quick Step who had six guys there. It was obvious they would try something. I just didn’t think it would happen so quickly. The pace in the chasing group was really high. I have everything with Kevin and Ben who did a super job. They stayed with me until the last lap to make sure I was in a good position. But, I have to admit, I finished eighth and I didn’t have super legs for the sprint today. A bit like when you don’t have strength. But it was good nonetheless. I can’t wait for Paris-Nice.”
Benoit Jarrier :
“I managed to be in the right move. We went a bit late but everything went eventually well and we bridged the gap. On these one-day races, it’s always best to be in front because it’s less stressful. You have less stress in key moments like when you tackle the Old Kwaremont or the Cote de Trieu and it also allows you to be in the group of favorites after the « big battle »and to help Andre in the finale. On the circuit we had only one goal : protect Andre. At that moment we knew what we had to do with Kevin, the few words we had to exchange — is everything alright ? How do you feel Andre? Not so good but we will do it ! — we are motivating each other. We stay focused because everybody is jockeying for position and the peloton is nervous. It was windy. I have everything until I was empty. Andre approached the sprint in a good position but he lacked that little spark in the end. When I saw him in the bus he was even happy, he told me “usually I don’t get any result here, so… “ it’s motivating . It’s a race in which you have to fight for position , you have to be in the front in the strategic parts so that you don’t pay for your efforts in the finale.
I’m happy I feel that Oman put me back on the right path. My season started a bit late because of my tympanoplasty. I could not do the core work I wanted this Winter ans it’s the second time this year that I ride 200 kilometres in competition. I lack a bit of strength in the closing stages but it will come back.
C’est une course de placement, il faut être à l’avant pour les endroits stratégiques et ne pas payer trop les efforts dans le final.
Je suis content, je sens qu’Oman m’a remis sur de bons rails. J’ai abordé la saison avec un peu de retard dans ma préparation suite à mon opération d’une tympanoplastie. Je n’ai pas pu faire le foncier que je voulais cet hiver et c’est la deuxième fois cette année que je fais 200 kilomètres en course. Il me manque un peu de force dans le final mais ça va revenir.
“I’m very happy with the team’s behaviour. I would have been fully satisfied if we had won but the competition was fierce and to get any result on a Belgian race you need a strong team. I think we showed we were one today. Benoît raced cleverly by going in the breakaway to be able to support once they were reined in.
It is too bad that we lost ram and Franck to crashes… with one or two guys in the finale it would have been more comfortable. Andre was better than in Oman, where he was not really happy with his sensations. We saw so many good things today. When you see Andre in the first 15-20 riders at the top of the Kwaremont it shows that the legs are responding. Andre has yet to be at his best but as I told him, I think he’s getting closer to top form. We’ have big objectives coming with Paris-Nice, a race very important to the team, it’s positive, we are hungry. Warren being third at the Drome Classic and Andre finishing eighth in Kuurne shows that we are very well collectively. Even if we would have wanted to win, the team is showing a good level and is getting results matching its potential. It’s reassuring because sometimes you feel good but you don’t get the results. We’re back in the mix !”
“I hung in there with Lorrenzo Manzin after the Old Kwaremont village. On the moment my wrist was hurting, I could not get going again. It was a psychological setback because I was 15-20 spots behind Andre. My bike was damaged, too. I think I will be fine and I want to ride the Samyn the day after tomorrow.”