Guillaume Boivin arrived in Belgium with good legs after Volta Catalunya and was able to sprint to ninth place at the WorldTour race, to wrap up an aggressive day of racing for IPT.
“I knew I was coming with good legs from Catalunya, after finally being injury-free and healthy for the last month, so I knew the legs were coming good. It was just a matter of if I would be recovered from Catalunya and how I would fare against the other guys here. I’m pretty happy with the day. I got in a little crash on the Berg Ten Houte but I had the legs to close the gap so I knew from there that I was on a pretty good day. It’s been a while since I have been in this situation so I need to back myself a bit more and try to move and follow the best on the climbs,” explained Boivin.
The shorter classic, with just 183 kilometers on the cards, still featured eight cobbles sectors and 11 climbs and with Trek – Segafredo lighting up the race in the last 80 kilometers, the race was well and truly on earlier than usual. Sep Vanmarcke, Krists Neilands, Jens Reynders, and Boivin were all active at the front of the race before a crash on the Berg Ten Houte caused a substantial split in the bunch.
Boivin and Neilands made it into the reduced peloton with Neilands trying his luck with an attack in the final 50km. In the end, Christophe Laporte (Jumbo Visma) won from the late chase group that caught the last breakaway riders in the closing kilometers and a strong chase from the peloton closed the gap inside the final 500m which saw them in contention for the remaining podium places, and allowed Boivin to sprint to a top-ten result.
“All in all, I’m super happy with the day and looking forward to Sunday. We had Krists up there and the boys did a good job, so it’s nice to see that we are going in the same good direction as the last couple of weeks. It seems like the whole team is going in the right direction so it’s fun to be racing the bike,” added Boivin.
Sports Director Steve Bauer is happy with today’s result and said the team is on a good trajectory after Sep Vanmarcke’s podium at Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday.
“We had a really good group of healthy riders which is critical in these races. We had Krists and Guillaume in a good position after the crash on Berg Ten Houte but we missed that critical chase group of nine riders in the finale. G was really close but someone left a gap and then they were gone. We were fortunate that Lotto Dstny didn’t have anyone in that front chase which gave us a chance to get back into the game. I kept encouraging the guys and telling them it could come back and they did a great finale with G up there able to contest for a top-ten result. All in all, a good day.”