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Bredene-Koksijde Classic

Gerben Thijssen third: “We showed our collective strength”

The defending champion Gerben Thijssen managed to secure a podium for the second year in a row during the Bredene Koksijde Classic on Friday, March 15.

Intermarché-Wanty helped determine the course of the race and was attentive to the critical points: the Moeren and the passage through the Heuvelland, which included a double series of Kemmelberg.

After the hill zone, the Walloon World Team was best represented at the front with its leader Gerben Thijssen, accompanied by Roel van Sintmaartensdijk and Madis Mihkels. Despite his crash, both Baptiste Planckaert and Dries De Pooter joined the local circuit of Koksijde.

A final collective effort on the final lap caught the escapees and allowed the Belgian sprinter to take third place on the line. Gerben Thijssen thus achieved his third podium finish of the season, the eleventh for Intermarché-Wanty.

“I raced at the front for almost the entire race and managed to survive all the selections every time. Even after the crash in Poperinge with Baptiste Planckaert, I preceded the crack in the peloton together with Madis Mihkels and Roel van Sintmaartensdijk. Once at the local laps it was a big challenge for my four teammates to keep everything under control, but they managed to show their collective strength and bring me to the finish in the best possible position. Even when Dries De Pooter was on the attack in the final kilometers, he continued to draw my card. That shows how close our group is. Not only the team around me in Bredene-Koksijde, I also wish my teammates the best of luck in Milan-Sanremo this Saturday. In the end I finished in third place today, which was probably the highest possible since I had to dig deep into my reserves several times during the race. I am pleased to receive confirmation that I continue to make progress year after year by playing at the front all day long in this type of competition scenario. I feel in top form and am looking forward to my next big appointment, Brugge-De Panne, with another very strong team around me."

1.Luca Mozzato 4:46:31
2.Dylan Groenewegen 
3.Gerben Thijssen
27.Dries De Pooter +0:05
39.Madis Mihkels +0:48
43.Roel van Sintmaartensdijk +1:14
44.Baptiste Planckaert +1:19
DNF Adrien Petit
DNF Sacha Prestianni

General Classification


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