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Dehaes flies to victory in Nokere Koerse

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20/03/2014

Kenny Dehaes has won Nokere Koerse. In an extremely close sprint, he beat Van Asbroeck with only a few milimeters.

The race was animated by 17 riders, including Lotto-Belisol youngsters Tosh Van der Sande and Dennis Vanendert. Six riders, with Van der Sande, were only caught in the final kilometer. In the bunch sprint, Dehaes finished a few millimeters before Van Asbroeck. There was some confusion as to who won because Dehaes lifted his front wheel on the line, but the finish photo made it all clear.


Kenny Dehaes: "When that big group took off, I didn't expect we would see them back. After all, many teams were represented in the front. I was in a comfortable position because Tosh and Dennis were part of that breakaway. Before the race we had agreed to set up a sprint train. Because of the nervousness in Nokere, it wasn't easy to keep the wheel of a teammate, but Jonas Van Genechten dropped me off perfectly in the wheel of Napolitano. It was a very close finish. My front wheel bounced just before the finish line. Afterwards there was some doubt about who had won, but the photo finish made that clear."

"Can I compete against the top sprinters? If I had participated in Tirreno-Adriatico or Paris-Nice, no doubt I would always have finished on the fifth or sixth place. I know for myself that I just haven't got enough power in the legs to play along with the world top. When you see that Bouhanni is third here, that proves I definitely have my place in the sub top. This isn't a WorldTour race, but Nokere Koerse is still an important race with tradition."

"Next week I start in Waregem and Harelbeke as a helper. Then I have to assist Debusschere and Roelandts. After the classics I will slowly build up to the Giro and also the Belgian Championship in Wielsbeke suits me. But let us first enjoy this victory with the team."

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