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Omloop van het Houtland

Fourth victory of the season for Gerben Thijssen

This Wednesday 20th of September, Gerben Thijssen added a nineteenth success to Intermarché-Circus-Wanty’s victory list of 2023, winning Omloop van het Houtland in the sprint.

He concluded a well-managed race of the team, first by staying attentive for the attempts in the crosswinds in the beginning of the classic around Ichtegem. 

At the entry of the nine local laps in Lichtervelde, young riders Dylan Vandenstorme and Obie Vidts controlled the gap to the breakaway, which was brought back by new accelerations in the crosswinds.

A group of around twenty riders with Thijssen, Arne Marit and Baptiste Planckaert distanced the rest of the peloton with more than 30 kilometer to go.

The last named rider sacrificed himself to neutralise the attacks and assure a group sprint for his two fast teammates, who united forces in the final kilometer.

Perfectly launched, Thijssen defeated Dylan Groenewegen with a bike throw and obtained his fourth victory of the season, all on Belgian soil.

His lead out of the day Arne Marit crossed the line in fourth place. He achieved his third top ten in ten days after the Grand Prix de Fourmies (9th) and the Grand Prix d’Isbergues (6th).

“I worked really hard with my sprint train to prepare the Tour of Spain, driven by the dream of winning a stage. But it wasn’t to be. From one day to another I had to switch my focus to new goals and this was not easy for sure. So it is nice to win here in Lichtervelde. From the start it was really nervous because of the strong wind. With the team we decided to take matters into our hands by setting the pace in the peloton. Later we received the support of other sprint teams to accelerate in the crosswinds. This enabled us to start the final with a small peloton. For the sprint I was focused on the sprint train of dsm-firmenich, until Arne Marit came from the back to make room for me and to bring me to sprint speed with 200 meter to go. He was the last element in a perfect team job today. I’m proud to reward the confidence of my teammates. At the end of a difficult race, this success confirms that I am one of the sprinters not to be neglected. This is a boost of confidence before my final four weeks of the season and even towards next year.”

General Classification

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