Israel — Premier Tech has come close to the podium yet again in Belgium. Following a strong showing at the Brussels Classic last weekend, IPT has repeated a double top ten result, with Simon Clarke coming home in fifth, whilst Tom van Asbroeck sealed ninth, at Dwars Door Het Hageland.

It was a day highlighted by heat, as temperatures soared to over thirty degrees Celsius, but this did little to hinder the performance of the IPT boys, who rode aggressively, tackling the gravel and bergs with aplomb. With Simon and Tom in the front group, the race was going to plan, but an untimely mechanical for Tom left Simon isolated. Despite this, Simon rode cleverly, managing to hold on for fifth in the final rise to the line. Tom, who had fought back to the second group, also had strong legs, and finished ninth.

Simon Clarke was pleased to be feeling good and being right up there at the end, having not raced since the Giro in May.

Today was a really good day. I had a bit of a question mark around how I was going to be feeling after the Giro and having not raced for three weeks, and I’m still in a bit of a building phase for the next block of racing so this wasn’t a weekend I targeted specifically, but I still wanted to ride well here, so I was motivated for today. I never did this race before, so I went in a bit blind, but I had some good Belgian teammates who helped guide me and put me in the right position at the right time. I managed to get in the front group for the last lap and did my best to get the best result possible. I enjoy riding on the dirt roads, so the parcours was a lot of fun for me, I really enjoyed it.”

With Tom being dropped from the first group with a flat tire, he was disappointed he could not finish higher but was also happy to have good legs, and to be in a team of guys who worked hard to secure a solid result.

It was a really hard day because of the heat. It made it a lot harder to race because in Belgium it’s quite unusual! We raced really well as a team. We can’t complain about how we raced, we were aggressive, we had a lot of control. I was in the front group but sadly I had a bit of bad luck flatting at a bad time. The front group were going hard, so I stayed in the second group, so that was a shame. If I’d have stayed in that group I think a podium was definitely possible. Of course, the rest of the guys rode really well too, with Sep being back in his first race since his injury. We’re having a lot of fun racing aggressively, and pretty soon we’ll get the results we deserve.

Sports Director, Dror Pekatch was happy with the result, knowing that the team worked very hard, and despite some misfortune, finished strongly too.

We lined up today with a very strong team, and three options for the finish. The team worked really well today, with our strong road captain, Sep Vanmarke, and especially our young guy, Oded Kogut, who keeps on improving. Tom and Simon got were brought nicely to where they needed to be by Sep at the important part of the race. Unfortunately, Tom had an untimely puncture, but Clarkey made it to the front group and rode a great race, he just missed a little bit at the end. Tom had super legs to come back after the mechanical to join the second group and finish ninth, so we’re super proud of the boys for this great race.”