Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde: Double Victory Again for Sylvain Chavanel
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Sylvain Chavanel came into the final stage just 10" down in the overall, and he demolished the Driedaagse Van De Panne-Koksijde Stage 3b 14.7km time trial on Thursday, winning the stage and the overall for the second straight year. The victory of Chavanel was a well executed plan of OPQS, putting their GC leaders Niki Terpstra and Chavanel in the best position for the overall, while also going for stage wins with Mark Cavendish.
Chavanel put on a show despite a technical course, passing the split 9.57" faster. He won with a time of 18'02", which was fastest by 19".
It was not just individual success for OPQS on Thursday. Terpstra also finished 3rd in the GC, and OPQS riders Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Mark Cavendish were 9th and 10th overall. Furthermore, OPQS won the team classification.
Chavanel added the 19th and 20th win, in three disciplines, for OPQS in 2013 by taking the stage and overall. Chavanel achieved three of those 20 victories.
"I like to race, it doesn't matter which race," Chavanel said. "I like this race a lot, however. Now I have 48 hours to recover after this double victory and be ready for the race on Sunday. Last year I had a few little problems with my health during Paris-Nice. This year everything went good and normal so far. I'm in good condition. My objective is to maintain this form until Paris-Roubaix. As for the Ronde, I'm not one of the favorites. Sagan is strong and also Cancellara, but we have a strong, united team. We are experienced in these kind of races and also with great specialists such as Tom and Niki. The strategy will also be important. Maybe there are also a few underdogs for the race on Sunday that can surprise everyone. We will do our best as a team and we will see!"