Stage 2) Hammer Sprint
Deceuninck – Quick-Step win Hammer Sprint Stavanger
Deceuninck – Quick-Step rode a perfect race on Saturday afternoon, when Remco Evenepoel, Alvaro Hodeg, Yves Lampaert, Davide Martinelli and Petr Vakoč lined up at the start of the 87.3km long event which consisted of nine and a half fairly flat laps.
Our riders showed their intentions as early as the first lap, when Davide Martinelli claimed maximum points on the line, putting the team into the hot seat. When a five-man break formed on the next lap, neo-pro Remco Evenepoel made sure of being there and scoring well for Deceuninck – Quick-Step, who mopped up points also with Hodeg and Lampaert, as the two emerged from the peloton on the first double-points lap to cement our position at the top.
The relentless pace resulted in the group being hauled back, before another move went away. Vakoč, who is racing his first ever Hammer Series this weekend, clipped off from the pack and booked a place in that group, sharing the workload and consistently scoring for our squad, who thanks to his effort returned into the lead after a brief time spent playing catch up.
Three laps from the finish, the group split, five men taking off and opening a 20-second gap over Petr’s group, who had a considerable buffer of more than a minute on the bunch. With none of the attackers posing a real threat to the Hammer Sprint classification, the former Czech Champion was content to remain attentive in the group and just add some more points to our tally, sealing at the end of the day a well-deserved victory for the Wolfpack.
“We feel amazing! It was a hard race, harder than yesterday I must say, but we rode a flawless race and managed to get a lot of points in the first part. From that point on, it was all about keeping an eye on our opponents, making sure we maintained our advantage”, said Petr Vakoč after Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 30th win of 2019. “The weekend isn’t over yet, we still have the Hammer Chase on Sunday, and we hope to be again in the mix for another strong result.”
Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen/ Getty Images
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