BMC Development Team Dominates the Podium at Opening Race in Belgium19. February 2017, Ingelmunster (BEL) — Development Team
BMC Development Team opened their 2017 season in emphatic style with a clean sweep of podium positions, including victory for Nathan Van Hooydonck, at the one-day Belgian race, Ingelmunster.
BMC Development Team took control of the front of the race with Van Hooydonck, Pascal Eenkhoorn, Bram Welten, and Jasper Philipsen forming part of an early 11-rider breakaway.
With the group’s advantage holding steady at around 2 to 3 minutes heading into the final kilometers of the day, it looked almost certain that victory would be decided from the breakaway.
BMC Development Team worked hard to close down any attacks and then, with three laps to go, Van Hooydonck launched his winning move, immediately distancing himself from the group.
Van Hooydonck showed his strength and determination by riding solo to take the victory ahead of teammates Eenkhoorn and Welten, who took second and third respectively.
Winner’s Interview with Nathan Van Hooydonck
Congratulations, Nathan! Victory at your first race of the season, how are you feeling?
“I feel great! It’s always good to start the season with a win so I am really happy.”
Talk us through the moment you made your winning move.
“We had four riders in the leading group and everyone was riding strong so I definitely thought that we would be able to do something special. As we reached the final laps, we were working well together and trying to close down any attacks from the group before making some of our own. With two laps to go, Bram Welten said to me to try my own attack so I did and it was this move that proved to be successful one.”
Did you know you would be able ride solo to the finish line?
“As soon as I had a lead of around 30 seconds, I knew I could hold my form long enough to reach the finish line. But the last lap felt really long especially with the wind and all of the kilometers in the my legs from riding in the breakaway.”
Does this race give you confidence looking towards your goals for the season?
“Definitely! It wasn’t a major goal of mine to win this race but I wanted to test myself and see where my form was after our training camp. This race really confirmed that all the hard work I put in over the off-season is paying off and I can’t wait for the races ahead.”
“This wasn’t a super important race for us as a team. Of course, we wanted to do well but it was more about testing our legs so to come away with this result is great. We were all really strong in the breakaway and were able to keep control of the group for most of the day, especially when Nathan Van Hooydonck made his winning move. Starting the season with a result like this is great and definitely gives me, and the rest of the guys, confidence for the bigger goals ahead.”
“I came into this race feeling really good and super motivated after our training camp. I think this really showed for all us and I was able to ride from start to finish in the breakaway which was great. I hope this is a good sign of my strength for the season ahead. The team effort was amazing today and to be on the podium with your teammates is special at any race.”
Sports Director, Klaas Lodewyck:
“It was a great day for us and a great warm up for the rest of the season. While this was a small, local race, we still wanted to do our best and for us that means winning. With four riders in the breakaway we had a real advantage over the other teams and I think all the hard work our riders put in really showed today. There are lots of positive to take away from this race and I think it is a sign of what our riders are capable of this season.”
Ingelmunster Kermesse Race
One day race / 119.7km
Top 3: 1. Nathan Van Hooydonck (BMC Development Team) 2. Pascal Eenkhoorn (BMC Development Team) 3. Bram Welten (BMC Development Team)