Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team and Kristof Vandewalle did exactly what they needed to do in order to protect his race lead after his prologue victory, pulling back breaks, making a select group, and taking sprint bonus seconds at the 181.8km 2nd and final stage of Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen on Sunday.
OPQS rider Vandewalle earned the 12th victory for the team, in three disciplines, on Sunday by winning the overall. This is also the third stage race victory for OPQS in 2013, including Tony Martin at Volta ao Algarve and Mark Cavendish at Tour of Qatar.
Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) won the bunch sprint of about 100 riders, as the race split up earlier in the stage and left a chase group behind by more than a minute. Adrien Petit (Cofidis) was 2nd and Bobbie Traksel (Champion System) was 3rd.
OPQS was well represented in the lead group, and Niki Terpstra was even able to contest the third sprint section of the day, getting 2nd and earning two seconds.
“I am super happy about this victory,” Vandewalle said. “For me it’s something special because I am from this region, making it a bit of a hometown race. It was a pleasure for me to win in front of my public. I have to say also that, I had a good performance in the prologue and yesterday I felt good, but today I really got great support from my teammates. I have to thank them, they did a great job because today wasn’t one of the best racing days of my life. Fortunately I can count on a strong team. I think the problem was I felt a little bit the sickness of last week, when I had a fever. So, today, I felt a little weak after three days in a row of racing after a few days of sickness. It was not so easy but I am happy I pulled it off. I will celebrate this victory with my team and look forward to my next appointment: Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour. We will go there with Iljo Keisse and Julien Vermote to try and get a good result there also. Why not? We will try to do our best and maybe even get a victory. We will see!”