Kasper Asgreen became our squad’s best placed rider in the general classification.
The team time trial returned after three decades at Paris-Nice, but with a novel format, the organisers deciding to take the time of the first rider of each team at the finish to determine the winner of this 32.2km stage held over the undulating terrain around Dampierre-en-Burly.
Unfortunately for our squad, we were disadvantaged from the start, as Mauro Schmid had to say goodbye to the race due to sickness, meaning that only six Soudal Quick-Step riders took on the challenging course of stage 3. Despite this important setback, our guys still produced a solid time trial, setting the seventh-fastest time at the finish – 34:34 – where Kasper Asgreen crossed the line first.
“I am proud of the guys and of the way they rode. Tim Declercq suffered after two hard days of hard pulling, and also for our other Tim (Merlier) it wasn’t an easy day. So, basically, considering this and Mauro having to pull out of the race through sickness, we were in four riders for 80% of the stage. That’s why everyone can be satisfied with their effort, even if it’s not reflected in the final classification”, explained sports director Tom Steels.
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