Tour de l'Ain Prologue: Meersman, Devenyns go 1-2
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team riders Gianni Meersman and Dries Devenyns finished less than a second apart from each other in the punchy 4.5km Tour de l'Ain Prologue on Friday. Meersman averaged 48.876km/h, finishing with a 5'31" time.
This is the 46th victory (44th) road, in three disciplines, for OPQS in 2013.
Nikolas Maes was also 9th, placing three OPQS in the top 10. Andrew Fenn was also 11th.
"I am really happy about my performance," Meersman said. "I didn't expect to win this race because I was off from competition for five weeks. So, it was a long time without racing and I was surprised by my performance. But I also have to say I felt how good my legs were immediately this morning when we did the recon. I had a good feeling about the parcour. It was really good for me. Not so much the first part, but the last 500 meters. It was slightly uphill and cobbled, so I could really sprint. I think the final was my best part for sure. This was for me the first time I won a time trial in my career. It is also something special because I was one of the first guys to take off. I was early, so I had to wait almost two hours until the end of the race. That made this win pretty special. I can now understand the time trialists who have to wait a long time. I understand perfectly what they feel now as I was so nervous and stressed in the hot seat. But in the end, everything came out great. If I have to be stressed to get a result like that, I will do it with pleasure. Now, we will see about the next two stages for the sprinters. We will try to go for Andy Fenn. Concerning the GC, we will see day-by-day what will happen. But the first goal is to put Fenn in position for the sprint in the next days."