RadioShack swept the podium in Friday’s prologue at the Three Days of West Flanders, with Jesse Sergent taking his first pro win. Teammates Sebastian Rosseler and Sam Bewley were second and third, respectively, at 10 seconds slower over the 7km course.
“This is my first pro victory,” Sergent said in a team release. “What a feeling! This is pretty special and I am happy to give back something to the people who have believed in me. This morning after I checked the course I felt quite confident. It was not a technical course; there were only three corners and long straights. I could use constant power the entire time. I had a feeling I would do a good ride and I’m very happy right now!”
It was a big day for The Shack, with five riders in the top seven.
“Jesse was strong. It was all flat but the last 3.5k had a head wind. It’s strange, but Jesse even accelerated there when others died. At the mid-way point he had the same split time as Rosseler, then you see the big difference at the end. Jesse deserves it,” sport director Dirk Demol said in a team release. “All riders did the race in the same conditions. Séba was good too and this is promising for him. He still needs to lose some kilos so he’ll be okay at the classics. It’s also nice what Bewley did — and he’s a pursuit rider. And then Kwiatkowski, a former world champion and double European champion and Oliveira, a three-time national time trial champion. Wow! Now we will try to win the overall too but it won’t be easy.”
Two days of racing remain in West Flanders. Hoping to keep the race lead, Sergent said in the team statement: “We will give it a go. We have nothing to lose. A lot will depend on the crosswinds in the coming days. Fortunately we have Rosseler, Rast and Demol — guys who know the roads and have the experience.”