Quick-Step Cycling’s Tom Boonen has shown his superiority by taking out his third Gent-Wevelgem victory over a very competitive field. In a race where Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Matti Breschel (Rabobank) also impressed, Australia’s GreenEDGE continued their strong recent season form.
Matt Goss took out 12th place in the Gent-Wevelgem with a competitive showing.
GreenEDGE, while not finishing on top, still did well, producing a strong effort against a bunched up field. The performance was absolutely fantastic to watch, if you can brave the delights of live streaming in the middle of the night.
In the weekend’s other event, the Tour of Catalonia, GreenEDGE’s Michael Albasini showed his class by maintaining his lead throughout. GreenEDGE Director Neil Stevens knows his Spanish races, and we should not be surprised if we see a good showing in the Vuelta Pais Vasco, in early April.
Next up is the Three Days of De Panne, which takes place in the Flemish region in northern Belgium today. The event is a three day race including four stages and ending in a time trial, and Green EDGE will be confident of a good result.
The GreenEDGE team for the Three Days of De Panne (at time of publication) is: Aidis Kruopis, Brett Lancaster, Jens Keukeleire, Jens Mouris, Luke Durbridge, Svein Tuft and Travis Meyer.
We will see new talent Luke Durbridge, a time trial specialist and world champion in the teams pursuit and under-23 time trial, beginning his focus on his road career. Luke has been overlooked for selection for the Australian team for UCI Track World Championships in Melbourne. This also means he has missed his chance for Olympic track selection.
These days, with wattage, heart rate and lactate threshold monitors, your selection and ability is not necessarily in your wins or losses, but in your numbers. The individual pursuit and teams pursuit are both highly specific and sophisticated on the track now.
Fortunately for us, this is something that Australia and AIS are world leaders in.
However, there is one thing that electronic instruments will never be able to measure – willpower. Real champions are characterised by their willpower and ability to put mind over matter. Durbridge, along with time trailers Svein Tuft and Jens Mouris, fit this description.
Durbridge is an exceptional tempo specialist he has been likened to Fabian Cancellera.
As team manager Matt White stated “Realistically we’re going to take [Durbridge] to the Three Days of De Panne and there’s no reason why he won’t win the time trial there,” White admitted.
“It’s made for him. As long as he gets through the other stages alive, he’ll be fine.”