It was a successful day for Lotto Soudal with a victory of Jasper De Buyst at Heistse Pijl and a second place for the team in the Hammer Sprint!
At the Heistse Pijl a front group of seventeen riders battled for the win. Lotto Soudal was strongly represented with Jasper De Buyst, Nikolas Maes and Rémy Mertz in the break. De Buyst beat Kenny Dehaes and Joeri Stallaert in the sprint. It is his first pro victory on the road.
Jasper De Buyst: “I’ve been riding well all year long. I already came a few times close to winning and I am glad I finally got my first pro victory. I am very grateful to Rémy and Nikolas. I had told them that I had faith in my sprint and it feels great that I was able to finish it off. Because we were with three riders in the front group we knew that if riders would attack we would be the ones who would need to close the gap, so we decided that nobody could ride away without us. Rémy kept the group together until we got to the hill at one and a half kilometres from the finish. I thought Van Aert would try something, but the pace was too high. Then Nikolas took me to the front and I could start the sprint in an excellent position.”
“At first, the front group consisted of 31 riders and we were with five Lotto Soudal riders. That group was too big and after a series of attacks the group got reduced. From then on it went much smoother. The peloton wasn’t a threat anymore in the finale.”
“June is an important month with Rund um Köln and Ster ZLM Toer coming up. I want to do well in those races by helping André Greipel or by setting a good result myself.”
After the climbing race in Vaals the peloton at the Hammer series had to cover a sprint race in Sittard today. In the first of eight laps Lotto Soudal scored no points, but afterwards each time one or two riders were present on top ten at the finish. Jelle Wallays joined a break and that way he gained points in laps three and four. In the final kilometre Moreno Hofland attacked. At that moment Lotto Soudal was third in the ranking. Places one and two were gone, but Hofland got third. Marcel Sieberg was the ninth rider to cross the finish. That way Lotto Soudal moved up to the second place. Trek – Segafredo won the race.
In the overall classification after the Hammer Climb and Hammer Sprint Lotto Soudal is standing fourth. Team Sky leads the classification. Tomorrow a team pursuit of 44.7 kilometres will decide about the overall victory of these Hammer Series.
Moreno Hofland: “It was a different way of racing than yesterday. Then it was soon clear which riders where the strongest. Many riders were never in the running for the points. Today the pace was very high on the first three laps. It was not easy to ride away from the bunch, but after a while some riders did. With the team we took points on almost every lap. We set a great team performance today. Tomorrow we can battle for the podium with the eight best teams and that was our goal for this Hammer Series. We will have a team in front of us and the pressure of teams wanting to catch us. We will do our very best.”