Moorslede: Maes Wins Stormy Race
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team pulled off its 55th win in three disciplines on Monday, with Nikolas Maes taking the win out of 30 riders that remained from 158 starters.
The stormy, rainy weather was so hazardous that the race was shortened to 143km (nine laps instead of 11), and that still was not enough to deter almost the entire peloton from abandoning.
A group of 11 riders were ahead going into the final lap and a half, and that is when two OPQS and two other riders attacked the group. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Maes were the two OPQS riders — a special moment for Guillaume, who lives in a nearby village. However, as the riders all started looking at each other, Maes attacked and took the victory, with Stijn Neirynck (Top Sport Vlaanderen-Mercator) placing 2nd and Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Belisol) taking 3rd. Van Keirsbulck was 4th. Andy Fenn won the bunch sprint for 5th.
"I'm happy for this victory because ths morning we joked a lot on the team bus about how I do not have a win this season," Maes said. "So now I am also one of the riders who has won at least one race. I made it! I am excited. I am happy I earned the 55th victory of the team this year."