Florian Senechal (Deceuninck-QuickStep) won the Primus Classic in Belgium in a tight sprint finish on Saturday afternoon.
Senechal added the victory to his surprise stage win in the Vuelta a Espana, beating Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) who finished second and third respectively.
The Frenchman had Mikkel Honore to thank for his efforts as his leadout man, and he paid tribute to the setup after the race.
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“We won as a team. The whole team worked very well and I wouldn’t have won without them today,” he said.
Mikkel Honoré did a super job in the final, and I was able to think 100% about the sprint.
Deceuninck-QuickStep were also able to call upon Julian Alaphilippe in the race as he prepared for the world championships next weekend, and he duelled with Alpecin-Fenix’s Mathieu van der Poel.
Honore then kickstarted the action with a challenge 22km to go with Senechal and others in tow. Van der Poel attempted to keep up with the group but a puncture prevented him from staying in touch, Senechal and Honore were in a position to close out the race.
Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto–Soudal), Jasper Stuyven (Trek–Segafredo) and Simon Clarke (Qhubeka NextHash) were also in the mix for the race win, and Senechal was able to remain within touching distance of the leader - Stuyven - before breaking through for victory with further assistance from Honore as Stuyven fatigued.
“It gives me confidence ahead of the Worlds, and it’s good for the French team because Julian rode very well today,” said Senechal after the race.
“It was raced like a classic, with lots of small roads and short climbs. There was no waiting around. A lot of riders wanted to make the race and there was a lot of attacking, and the best riders were in front.”
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