Yves Lampaert is the new West Flanders Champion
Yves Lampaert finished runner-up at Izegem Koers Thursday afternoon, but the first leader of this year’s Tour de France still had plenty of reasons to smile, as at the finish he was awarded the West Flanders Champion jersey – a moment made even more special by the fact he was joined on the podium by his son Aloïs.
Our rider was on the attack from the beginning of the 167.4km race, joining a strong 15-man group that got away in the first lap, and where he was joined by his Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl teammates Tim Declercq and Bert Van Lerberghe. With each lap covered, more and more riders were dropped from the move, including “El Tractor”, who had a mechanical at an untimely moment, but despite losing men, the momentum remained with the attackers, who kept a two-minute buffer over the chasers.
On the penultimate lap, with around 16 kilometers remaining, Yves attacked and was joined by the Alpecin-Fenix duo of Dries De Bondt and Mathieu Van der Poel. Knowing the numbers weren’t on his side, the Belgian tried to shake off the duo in the closing kilometers, but despite his valiant efforts, the group remained as one and he took second behind the Dutchman.
“It was great to race today in a region that loves cycling. We did our best today and I gave everything in the finale, so second was the maximum I could get today against two riders from the same team. It feels nice to become West-Flemish champion and I want to carry this form into the next races on my calendar”, a smiling Yves said after the race.
Photo credit: ©Justin Setterfield / Getty Images