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Le Samyn : Pasqualon on the podium!

Le Samyn : Pasqualon on the podium!

The peloton enjoyed the bright spring sun at the start of the GP Le Samyn (1.1, 2/03) in Quaregnon. It was only on the way back from the Pays des Collines that an early breakaway of five riders was formed. Despite the very nice weather circumstances, the peloton was very nervous. Danny Van Poppel was involved in a crash, but soon returned to the leading position in the peloton. Together with his brother Boy Van Poppel, he was part of the new 24 rider breakaway when the peloton split on the second passage on the cobbles of the Côte de la Roquette. After the next passage on this difficult and technical cobble section, with 35 kilometer to go, a group with Aimé De Gendt and Andrea Pasqualonmanaged to join them.

The final was very attractive, but even a last attempt of five riders with Danny Van Poppel and Mathieu van der Poel didn't succeed. In the slight sloping streets of Dour, Tim Merlier was the fastest at the end of the 205 kilometer race with 20 cobble sections, ahead of Rasmus Tiller and Andrea Pasqualon. The Italian sprinter achieved the first podium of the season for the team. Taking into account the two successive 2nd places of Aimé De Gendt in 2019 and 2020, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux has been successful in the Walloon opening classic for the past three years.

Andrea Pasqualon:
« It's nice to show the colors of the team in the Walloon opening race. Both for the riders and staff as for the sponsors, the GP Le Samyn is a special day. The team performed very well today and we did what we had to do to take the victory. With Danny on the attack in the final kilometers, and Aimé bringing me into a perfect position with 200 meter to go, everything went perfectly. I felt good and tried my best, but two guys were stronger. My crash in Omloop het Nieuwsblad, the hard opening weekend and some difficult nights definitely had an influence on my freshness today. Maybe those were the percents I was lacking to take the victory. But I'm happy that we're on a good way! Also the next weeks some special races are coming up for me with the Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-San Remo! »

Le Samyn :
1. Tim Merlier
2. Rasmus Tiller +0
3. Andrea Pasqualon +0
23. Danny Van Poppel +0
27. Aimé De Gendt +0
49. Boy Van Poppel +1:05
52. Taco Van der Hoorn +2:25
101. Ludwig De Winter 5:09
109. Pieter Vanspeybroeck +5:09