Yves became the first rider in more than a decade to win the tough kermesse twice.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step returned at the start of Izegem Koers and made sure of stomping their authority over the 164.9km-long race soon after the start. Making his first appearance for our team, stagiaire Jannik Steimle – winner of six races this season – attacked out of the bunch right from the gun together with five men, signalling our squad’s intentions.
It didn’t take long for Yves Lampaert and Pieter Serry to join that move, which had one minute over the peloton, from where another group, containing also fast man Alvaro Hodeg, took off several laps into the race, and bridged across. The new leading group established a 2:30 buffer over the chasers with 100 kilometers remaining and maintained that advantage going into the business end of Izegem Koers.
Two laps from the finish, Lampaert and Tom Devriendt (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) pressed on and rode clear of the others, only for four men to join them. Our team had again the numbers, as Alvaro was also there, and this allowed Lampaert, a stage victor this season at the Tour de Suisse, to roll the dice again inside the closing kilometers. The 28-year-old Belgian opened a gap and wasn’t seen again until the finish, where he came over the line a minute clear of Alvaro Hodeg, who ensured a Deceuninck – Quick-Step 1-2.
“It’s always special to win a kermesse. When I was young, I only did this kind of races and I’m happy to be victorious again in one”, said Yves after his second Izegem Koers success, which he added to that of 2014. “We rode full gas from the start and had an average of over 46km/h, which shows just how hard was today. The team did a flawless race, had a perfect tactic and it’s great to celebrate another victory, especially as it came so close to my home and I had a lot of fans here.”
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