The Trofeo Laigueglia (1.Pro, 3/03) opened the Italian season at the Ligurian coast this Wednesday. The 202 kilometer hilly race around Laigueglia is the first race in a long series of cycling events in the north half of the Italiaan boot. After half an hour of racing in 14 degrees, eleven riders managed to escape from their 159 competitors.
The favorites in the peloton didn't wait for the moment they caught the early breakaway to open the final. Before reaching the four local laps, both the breakaway and peloton were skimmed already. Also Jérémy Bellicaud, Théo Delacroix and Tom Devriendt had to let go the first part of the peloton after their work for the team. Maurits Lammertink couldn't avoid a crash downhill and consequently also had to leave the race. It looks like the Dutch rider only has bruises. This trend continued in the final 43 kilometer on the final circuit with the Capo Mele and the Colla Micheri, leaving only a handful of riders in the lead of the race. Bauke Mollema successfully concluded a solo, taking the win ahead of five strong chasers. A little later, Lorenzo Rota sprinted to 10th place.
Steven De Neef (Sports Director):
« I think we got the best out of this difficult race. All riders did a good race and performed their roles well today. Just like we planned, Tom Devriendt worked in the first part of the race. Later, Jérémy Bellicaud and Théo Delacroix took over his role. Unfortunately, we lost Maurits Lammertink in a crash in a dangerous downhill, leaving only Jan Bakelants, Lorenzo Rota and Loïc Vliegen in the final. There was a natural selection on this difficult course. After a final effort of Loïc Vliegen for the team, his two remaining teammates gave what they could to finish as good as possible. Looking to the results, I'm happy with this top 10. »
2.Egan Bernal +0:39
10.Lorenzo Rota +1:01
32.Jan Bakelants +2:36
DNF Jérémy Bellicaud
DNF Théo Delacroix
DNF Maurits Lammertink
DNF Loïc Vliegen