Win number 25 this season for the Soudal Quick-Step Devo Team.
Gust Lootens won the Memorial Danny Jonckheere, a 161.2km one-day race that took place Wednesday afternoon in the Belgian city of Oudenburg. The 22-year-old was one of the thirteen riders who attacked halfway through the race, opening what turned out to be a decisive gap over the peloton.
Victorious in Oostnieuwkerke at the beginning of July, Gust dropped the hammer on the final lap, taking off from the small but strong group where he had teammate Warre Vangheluwe for company, only Michiel Coppens (RF Zelfbouw) and his teammate Warre being able to join him. Warre produced a superb lead-out for his teammate, which allowed Lootens to easily outsprint Coppens for Soudal Quick-Step Devo Team’s 25th win since the start of the year.
Warre came in three seconds later and rounded out the podium, making it for the second time in the space of six days that our feeder team took a 1-3 in a race, following last Saturday’s Omloop Mandel.
“It was a fast and nervous race. We tried to split the bunch on the opening lap with the help of the crosswinds, but it didn’t work out. It was only when Warre attacked and I followed that a split happened, and soon after a pretty big group formed. We worked well together, but later the others stopped sharing the work, so it was only myself and Warre who pulled hard as we wanted to keep our 45-second advantage.”
“Sensing an opportunity, I attacked in the finale, Michel and Warre, the last one coming with great speed, joined me and I immediately took Warre’s wheel. He believed in me today, spent all his energy for me, and I’m happy I could finish it off after all that incredible effort, for which I am so grateful. It was a great day for the team”, Gust explained after the race.
Photo credit: ©Wout Beel