After his win last week in GP de Wallonie, Jens Debusschere wins again. This time he sprinted to victory in “Omloop van het Houtland” in Lichtervelde. After a well fought race in whichthe fierce wind played a major role, the West- Flemish won the bunch sprint. This victory is already his third this year after also winning a stage in the Tirreno-Adriatico.
The early breakaway went after one hour of racing. The attackers of the day were Martijn Tussveld (Rabobank), Rudy Barbier (Roubaix Lille Metropole), Alphonse Vermote (Vastgoedservice – Golden Palace) and Geatan Pons (Wallonie – Bruxelles). Their maximum advantage was only 2’30”. Especially because the peloton was very active. The fierce wind invited the peloton to make the race hard. This resulted in a peloton of only 80 riders after 150 kilometres.
As the local laps approched, the attacks were uncountable. Also Lotto Soudal rider Dennis Vanendert tried to breakaway, but his attack didn’t get much space. Shortly after, the Dutch duo Martijn Tusveld (Rabobank Development) and Wouter Mol (Cyclingteam Join’s – De Rijke) grabbed their chance to break away. Only Lukasz Wiszniowski (Etixx-Quickstep) could bridge to the two leaders. Lotto Soudal controlled the peloton and made sure that the break couldn’t get far. With glance at the final kilometer, the breakaway was caught and a bunch sprint would decide on the winner. In the end, it was Jens Debusschure (Lotto Soudal) who won the sprint before Timothy Dupont (Roubaix Lille Metropole) and Coen Vermeltfoort (Cyclingteam Join’s – De Rijke). This is his third win of this season and his second in one week.
Jens Debusschere: “Lichtervelde is a race that suits me. The last two years, I also finished close. In 2013 there was also a bunch sprint and I came in third after Kittel and Bouhanni. Loosing of this two sprinters is no shame. Last year a break could make it to the finish. Our team had Tosh Van de Sande in the break and I finished ninth in the front of the peloton. This year I finally made it to the top step of the podium. With today’s fierce wind, we had to keep close track of what was happening. Before the first half of the race, the peloton was broken into several pieces. The team rode excellent today as we were represented with four riders in the first echelon. But the cooperation wasn’t perfect and when we approached the local laps, everything came back together. At that moment, we decided to go for a bunch sprint. With two laps to go, a breakaway of three riders went. This was perfect for us. Together with LottoNL-Jumbo we controlled this attack and made sure everything was back together before the last kilometer. The team rode the entire day as we had planned before the start and this gives you extra motivation. In the sprint the team put me in a perfect position so I ride my own sprint. I’m very happy that I could thank the hard work of the team with a victory!”
“The next weeks I’ll ride Tour de l’Eurométropole, Binche and Paris-Tours. With my current form I’ll try to play an important role in these races as well.”