Hammer Series: Quick-Step Floors ride solid TTT
The first edition of the event came to an end on Sunday afternoon, when five-man squads took on a brutal 44.7km-long test against the clock held on the same circuit which one day earlier hosted the Hammer Sprint.
Quick-Step Floors, part of the second group at the Hammer Chase ahead of the final race, was the second team to set off, behind Trek-Segafredo, but the combined efforts of Gianluca Brambilla, Rémi Cavagna, Dries Devenyns, Yves Lampaert and Maximilian Schachmann helped our squad go into control of the long and tough time trial before the midway point.
Soon, it became clear that BMC, third team at the start, will be our main rival for the best time, and the Swiss outfit, boosting of time trial specialists, caught and passed us, opening a ten-second gap inside the last kilometers of the race. But things were far from over, and soon the race turned on its head, as a series of punctures slowed down BMC, allowing Quick-Step Floors to return in the lead and cross the finish line in 52:38, the best time of the eight teams in the second group and the third-best of the day.
"We knew from the start that the gap was small and we were also aware BMC had the time trial specialists. Must say we had luck on our side as they had several flats and when we got news Oss punctured we pushed till the very end. After their second puncture we caught them and continued to go full gas all the way to the finish line. Everyone did a great job today in what was a very hard race", said Yves Lampaert at the end of the three-day event held in the Netherlands.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele