The parcours for the Circuit Franco-Belge was altered this year to have a short punchy climb at the finish, and this suited Corbin Strong, who was perfectly positioned in the final meters to sprint onto the podium.

With a brand new parcours, the race was somewhat open from the start, with teams lining up with puncheurs, roulers and pure sprinters to suit a course which could have come down to a number of different scenarios. Israel – Premier Tech knew, however, that the most likely outcome would be a reduced sprint at the end of the day, and as the final kilometer loomed, this looked to be the case. Coming onto the final climb, Strong was perfectly positioned and launched his sprint. Whilst he could not quite catch the day’s eventual winner, Arnaud De Lie (Lotto – Dstny), he managed to sprint well enough to round out the podium in third.

Corbin Strong was happy with his performance but was disappointed not to be on the top step of the podium.

“Today was a nice parcours for me, and the team supported me well all day. In the final, I didn’t have the speed for the win, but I’m happy with the podium. It was also nice to have the experience of Sep Vanmarcke on the radio for his first race as a Sports Director.”

Sports Director, Rene Andrle, was pleased with the result, as the calibre of riders at this race was very high.

“It was a hard race, and even harder because we started without Krists Neilands as he was sick. We controlled the race well for Corbin from the start, and at the finish, he was well-positioned. In the group of around sixteen guys, he followed all the right moves and positioned himself perfectly. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the legs to get the win today, but this is still a great result for the team and for Corbin, as there were some very strong riders out there today.”

Also at the race was Sep Vanmarcke making his debut as a Sports Director for the team. With a podium in his first race, Vanmarcke was delighted to see a glimpse of what his work will be next season.

“It was nice to get a good taste of what I will do in the near future. To plan the race and tactics was great. I look forward to the next one, especially if it’s another podium!”