Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First-Drapac) does not lack for podium results in the Classics, and he added another one at Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday. The 29-year-old Belgian rider finished third and joined winner Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors) and runner-up Mike Teunissen (Sunweb) on the podium in Waregem after a rain-soaked race. With his recent performances, Vanmarcke adds his name to the list of favourites for the upcoming Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.
In the post-race flash interview, a mud-clad Vanmarcke was asked about his three candidates for the win in Sunday’s Tour of Flanders. He smiled. “That’s easy. I haven’t won yet, so I offer to be a candidate. Sagan of course, and this guy next to us, Yves Lampaert. He’s a big name. He rides really hard. The third is difficult. I hope [it will be] myself,” Vanmarcke said.
Dwars door Vlaanderen Yves Lampaert escaped from a five-man lead group in the final kilometre of the race in Waregem. Mike Teunissen was faster in the sprint of four behind, but Vanmarcke narrowly managed to hold off Edvald Boasson-Hagen (Dimension Data).
Vanmarcke wasn’t sure if he finished on the podium when being swarmed by the media after crossing the finish line.
“Third or fourth, it’ll be close. Was it third? Then I’m satisfied because I didn’t feel good today. In that case, a podium is good. Third in a five-man group isn’t great, but in this situation, I’m OK with it. I’d love to have won, but I felt throughout the finale that I wasn’t going well, that the additional training from [last] Sunday was still in the legs. It’s good for [this coming] Sunday,” Vanmarcke said.
At the end of the 251 kilometres in Gent-Wevelgem, Vanmarcke tried a late solo move towards the win but was caught and finished 21st. Afterwards, he added 45 extra kilometres to be ready for the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, races that hover around 260 kilometres.
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