81st Nationale Sluitingprijs - Putte - Kapellen: Terpstra, Stybar on the Attack
OPQS riders Niki Terpstra and Zdenek Stybar decided they weren't going to wait around for a bunch sprint at 81st Nationale Sluitingprijs - Putte - Kapellen, which consisted of eight laps, 22.39km each. Terpstra went into an original breakaway of 11 riders, which was eventually reduced to four before getting brought back with 24km to go in the Belgian one day race that closed out the 2014 road season.
OPQS was not done being protagonists, however. Stybar decided to attack with two other riders at 4 kilometers to go, and the group had just a few seconds advantage over the peloton as they reached the flamme rouge.
The peloton made the catch in time for the bunch sprint, which ended in a photo finish. Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Belisol) was determined to be the winner. Tom Van Asbroeck (Topsort Vlaanderen - Baloise) was 2nd, and Jonas van Genechten (Lotto-Belislol) was 3rd.
OPQS closes the 2014 road season with 64 road wins (66 total) between 19 different riders.
"It was a fast race because there were 11 riders in the breakaway," Stybar said. "The bunch was always at a high pace. At a lap to go the peloton caught the breakaway with Niki, and on the last lap I was thinking I could try something when we reached the cobblestones, as we were going full gas until that point. I went with two other guys and it was a good move, but the peloton was lined out so we had no chance. We tried, but we were caught at 500 meters to go. Now I am looking ahead to my next cyclocross race on Thursday. I am doing it for fun but to also prolong the season. I feel the shape is actually increasing, and that was the reason why I'm doing all these races. I'm happy with my road season and now I can continue to race in cyclocross a little while longer."
OPQS results (provisional)
Martin Velits 66th place
Zdenek Stybar 76th place
Gianluca Brambilla 77th place
Niki Terpstra 79th place
Serge Pauwels 85th place
Wout Poels 86th place
Iljo Keisse & Guillaume Van Keirsbulck DNF