Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen Stage 2: Lampaert Wins Overall, Several Jerseys!
Etixx - Quick-Step rider Yves Lampaert took home several jerseys at the end of Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen on Sunday, winning the overall following a group arrival, and also winning the points classification as well as the award for best young rider.
The Belgian rider won Stage 2 yesterday out of a breakaway, and because he was also 5th in the prologue the day before, he was able to move into the GC lead. Etixx - Quick-Step defended their leader perfectly, first going into a breakaway with 24 riders, staying away until inside 10km to go in the stage with 13 left out of the escape group, and then ensuring the final 184.5km stage ended in a bunch sprint.
Danny Van Poppel (Trek Factory Racing) won the stage. Kris Boeckmans (Lotto Soudal) was 2nd, and Michael Van Staeyen (Cofidis) was 3rd. Gianni Meersman finished 5th.
Lukasz Wisniowski, Meersman, Lampaert, and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck made the large escape group, which came together after an early catch of the original breakaway of seven riders.
Etixx - Quick-Step also won the team classification.
"After 25 kilometers there were seven guys in the front, but we controlled the race very well with Iljo Keisse and Petr Vakoc working hard on the front," Lampaert said. "We were in control the entire day, it was impressive. There was an echelon for a certain moment in the front with several of our riders in good position, but when we came into the local lap they eventually caught us. So we tried to organize a bit the sprint for Gianni. But OK, he was 5th after a long day of defending my leadership. I'm really happy for the win. When you consider what we did over a three-day period, it was excellent. The team worked really well and I am proud to be able to finish their job. For me it's the first time I won a stage race. Last night I slept really well. I was confident in the team. But you never know what can happen in cycling and we we have respect for every rider and team. So today we were attentive and motivated. We did our best to win the race and I think this is a team victory more than just my victory. The team did so well and I want to thank them for supporting me. We are thrilled as a group, and can look to the next races with optimism and satisfaction with what we did here."
Lampaert's overall victory was the first of two for Etixx - Quick-Step on Sunday. Michal Kwiatkowski also won the Paris-Nice prologue. It was the second two-win day for Etixx - Quick-Step, with Lampaert's victory on Saturday being complemented by Zdenek Stybar winning Strade Bianche. Etixx - Quick-Step has 16 victories on the road in 2015.