Fabio Jakobsen powered to another Deceuninck – Quick-Step win, our 29th since the start of the season.
Two years from its previous visit, the Tour of California returned to Morro Bay, where Deceuninck – Quick-Step became the first team in the event’s history to notch up three consecutive victories with as many different riders. After Kasper Asgreen and Rémi Cavagna, it was Fabio Jakobsen’s turn to shine, and the 22-year-old Dutchman seized the moment, reigning supreme on the uphill finish after having been piloted into an excellent position by a superb lead-out train consisting of Michael Mørkøv, Maximiliano Richeze and Zdenek Stybar.
“I had strong legs today, but also a formidable lead-out, which kept me out of the wind, protected me in those hectic final kilometers and delivered me where I needed to be for the sprint. This uphill drag to the line forced me to push hard, but I was confident and waited for the perfect moment to kick out and take another win for our team”, said Fabio after claiming his fourth success of the year.
Animated by a five-man breakaway, the stage was controlled by a couple of teams, who each posted a man at the front of the peloton to keep the lead group on a tight leash. Deceuninck – Quick-Step were represented by Tim Declercq, who put in an enormous amount of work and brought the field on the heels of the escapees, before Rémi Cavagna hauled back the leaders inside the last ten kilometers.
Our outfit was represented in the finale of the 214.5km stage by a strong contingent who made sure of stomping its authority on the race, which was marred by two crashes, before setting up Fabio Jakobsen for a convincing win over Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) and Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe). Kasper Asgreen made it two Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders in the top 10, thus retaining his third place on the general classification with three days to go.
“What makes us so successful? We are a great group of riders, all willing to sacrifice ourselves and work hard for each other”, responded Fabio when being asked at the press conference about the squad’s superb run at the Tour of California. “It’s worth mentioning also that we came here in good shape and the previous wins this week gave us a lot of confidence, so we’re just riding the wave at the moment and seizing every opportunity we get.”
Photo credit: ©Chris Graythen/ Getty Images