Welten and Van Hooydonck on the Podium in Belgium3. August 2016, Zillebeke (BEL) — Development Team
Bram Welten took victory today at the Belgian one-day race, Zillebeke, with teammate Nathan Van Hooydonck joining him on the podium in third place.
BMC Development Team were on the offensive right from beginning of the race with five riders, including Welten and Van Hooydonck, part of day’s seventeen-rider breakaway.
Over the first five laps, the group was holding an advantage over just under a minute but as they headed into the final lap their lead had extended to 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
Attacks soon followed and Van Hooydonck and Lukas Spengler made a move into a group of five riders. A late wheel change for Spengler saw the team digging deep to bring the group back together and deliver Welten into the perfect position to take victory in the final sprint.
Quote from Finish Line
Bram Welten: “I feel incredible after today. It was hard race but we were in a great position with five riders in the breakaway and everyone did a great job to help me take this win. I knew I was coming into this race in strong form so I was definitely thinking about victory but with such a strong group up at the front of the race I was feeling more and more confident that we would deliver the result we wanted in the end. Today’s win is just what I needed. It’s been a hard three months coming back from my crash and it has given me a lot of confidence. Hopefully there will be another trip to the podium for us on Sunday.”
Nathan Van Hooydonck: “With five riders in the breakaway group, the situation was pretty much perfect for us. We kept the pace high and despite some bad luck on the last lap, with both myself and Lukas needing a wheel change, we were able to help set Bram up for the sprint. When Lukas got his flat and I was ahead with the two Team 3M riders, I stopped pulling at the front and waited for bunch behind to come back so we could get the win with Bram. I was also able to secure a podium finish so it was definitely a good day for us. The spirit is now superb in the team and we are looking forward to Sunday.”
Sports Director, Klaas Lodewyck: “As we went into last lap there was a tough crosswind section so I told the guys to get up to the front and push it to the limit. The guys did a great job from behind to closed the gap to the riders out in front in order to help Bram win. Without the great work of the team today, our victory would not have been possible. Even though Bram is looking really strong right now, and has the speed to match, we needed everyone working hard. The race worked out just as we wanted and we are really happy. Now we look to Sunday where we will try to do the same.”
Zillebeke (UCI 1.12)
One day race / 156km
Top 3: 1. Bram Welten (BMC Development Team) 2. Emiel Vermeulen (Team 3M) 3. Nathan Van Hooydonck (BMC Development Team)
BMC Development Team Top 3: 1. Bram Welten 3. Nathan Van Hooydonck 10. Lukas Spengler