One of the few opportunities the sprinters have this spring to shine in a one-day race, the Classic Brugge-De Panne takes place this Wednesday, kicking off a fantastic ten days which will see the riders fight for victory in a series of five Belgian Classics and semi-classics, culminating with the Ronde van Vlaanderen on the first weekend of April.

Lampaert back on the podium

Yves Lampaert came third in a rainy and miserable edition of Classic Brugge-De Panne, which left only a handful of riders in the fight for victory after 211 brutal kilometers. There wasn’t a single moment of respite for the peloton Wednesday afternoon, the crosswinds causing chaos on the road at the first of the three passages through De Moeren.

Four of our riders booked a place in the select first group, but those caught at the back bridged across taking advantage of the lack of collaboration up the road. The vicious crosswinds and spitting rain continued to make for an atrocious day in the saddle, but that didn’t stop the Soudal Quick-Step boys from forcing another selection with 60 kilometers to go. From that group, where we were represented by a strong quartet comprising Davide Ballerini, Fabio Jakobsen, Yves Lampaert and Bert Van Lerberghe, an attack came the last time on De Moeren, which proved out to be the race-winning move.

Victorious here in 2020, Yves immediately jumped and joined the group, which maintained their 20-second lead until the line in De Panne, where the former Paris-Roubaix podium finisher sprinted to take a solid and confidence-boosting third place behind Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) after more than four hours of gruelling racing.

“Today was full gas and you just knew that the first group would make it to the finish. The team did a great job the entire day, it’s just a pity that we didn’t win. We had the numbers, but those small roads and the strong winds changed everything in the last hour of the race. When the others attacked, I joined them and followed along, but unfortunately two other riders were faster than me. It’s not a victory, but this result is a good one ahead of the cobbled Classics”, Yves explained after his tenth podium in a one-day race.


Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen / Getty Images

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