Fabio Jakobsen and Yves Lampaert combined well to score our team’s 33rd victory of the year.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step fired on all cylinders on the second day of the Hammer Limburg, knowing another huge haul of points was needed in order to maintain our place at the top of the general classification following Friday’s commanding win in the Hammer Climb.
Starting and finishing in Sittard, the 99.2km-long race got off to a furious start, a break of eight going clear and contesting the first sprint of the day, which saw two-time Scheldeprijs champion Fabio Jakobsen claim maximum points, thus giving our squad the early lead. A few kilometers later, a four-man group containing Belgian Champion Yves Lampaert bridged across, with the numerical superiority immediately playing into our team’s advantage, who then scored big on the first double-point lap of the day.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step remained aggressive throughout the race, with Lampaert forcing a selection in the leading group with 80 kilometers to go and pushing a huge tempo, which kept the peloton at bay and helped him get more points as the laps ticked down. Some 30 kilometers from home, that move came to an end, but by then our squad was already in firm control of the standings. This didn’t stop Fabio from jumping off the front again and joining another group which went all the way, despite the gap hovering at all times around 20 seconds.
A strong presence in the group, the 22-year-old Dutchman expertly shut down a couple of attacks and further increased our lead in the ranking, before wrapping it up with a powerful sprint on the final lap and earning top position for the Hammer Chase, which Deceuninck – Quick-Step will kick off tomorrow afternoon.
“Today we showed again what a good team we have and how we work together for our goals. The race was hard and full gas from the beginning, but I was in the main group with Lampy and had good legs, and together we contributed to our squad’s total number of points. In the end, I knew the victory was in the bag, but I wanted to sprint to show the name of the team and of our sponsors, underling the collective effort behind this success”, Fabio said after Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 33rd win of the season.
Jakobsen, who raced in front of his home supporters, continued: “We won two battles so far, we cracked on two consecutive days the 1000-point barrier and it’s really nice to lead the general classification, but the competition isn’t over yet and we have one last hard race tomorrow, when we hope to top it off with the overall victory. It won’t be easy, because the margins are slim, but we are motivated and focused.”
Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen/ Getty Images