Frederik Backaert tried to avoid a reduced group sprint in the final of Nokere Koerse (1.HC, 14/03). A group of 8 riders went clear for a long time. Even before the final Pieter Vanspeybrouck crashed, a third crash for the unfortunate Speye in a few weeks. Also Yoann Offredo could not avoid a rider falling in front of him. On the first passage on the cobbled section Huisepontweg the peloton splitted, but everything came together with 10 kilometers to go.
Former winner Timothy Dupont was still part of the group, but had to let the group go when he was forced to change front wheel at 15km from the finish. Frederik Backaert accelerated from the reduced group on Huisepontweg with only 5 kilometer to go. Backaert was unfortunately caught again and the Dutchman Fabio Jakobsen was the fastest on Nokereberg. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck finished 26th.
"Fifteen kilometers before the finish line I suddenly lost a spoke in my front wheel, I had to change my wheel and I just returned when the peloton started on the cobblestones. After the training camp in Spain my legs were not 100%, but they were certainly not bad. This s*cks. "
Hilaire Van der Schueren:
"In the first crash, Pieter Vanspeybrouck was involved,-. In another one a CCC rider crashed and Yoann (Offredo) could not avoid him anymore. The crash looked bad and at first I thought his collarbone was broken. Fortunately the damage is not too bad. When we lost Dupont in the final, you know you are counted out. "
"But we were not very good involved in the race. Some of the riders had a hard training week in Benidorm last week, for whom Nokere came a little too early. But in Handzame it should be good."
1. Fabio Jakobsen
2. Amaury Capiot
3. Hugo Hofstetter
26. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck
31. Frederik Backaert + 00:18
64. Yoann Offredo + 02:04
65. Timothy Dupont
72. Jérôme Baugnies + 03:06
81. Dion Smith + 03:15
116. Pieter Vanspeybrouck + 07:04