Rowe sixth at Dwars door Vlaanderen

03 Apr 2019

Rowe sixth at Dwars door Vlaanderen

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Luke Rowe is hoping for a smooth run through Sunday’s Tour of Flanders after producing another strong ride to sixth at Dwars door Vlaanderen.

The Welshman - who impressed with an attacking ride in last Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem - pushed clear of the peloton in the closing stages of the latest Classics test and held the bunch at bay to secure another strong result.

Rowe admitted that he didn’t quite have the legs to follow the day’s decisive move, when Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) and Bob Jungels (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) pushed clear on the Knokteberg with 33km to race. The duo joined up with eventual winner Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus), Anthony Turgis (Direct-Energie) and Lukas Postlberger (BORA - hansgrohe). The five-man group went all the way to the line.

But Rowe was positive in his assessment of the day: “I’m feeling pretty good,” he said. “It’s nice to follow up Wevelgem with another solid day.

“OK, sixth place isn’t a dream result, but it’s still sixth place in a WorldTour one day Classic. It’s still a respectable ride. Coming into the final a number of teams were chasing in the hope of a sprint and with a kilometre to go there was a bit of a lull. I attacked and managed to hold the peloton off.

“We were on the back foot a little bit with that move up front. When Jungels and Benoot went I didn’t have the legs to follow. I was just behind that one.”

The team had numbers in the finale too, with Owain Doull, Christian Knees, Gianni Moscon and Dylan van Baarle all in the reduced bunch alongside Rowe.

Moscon, who is riding back into form after recovering from the effects of a tough crash at the UAE Tour, launched an attack of his own with 20 kilometres to race. His attempt to bridge across to the leaders was unsuccessful but it will be a confidence booster ahead of the Monuments to come. Van Baarle also looked comfortable on his return to the cobbles after breaking his hand at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

“After Friday and Sunday where we were quite short on both days, it’s good for the team that we had five guys in that final chasing peloton of 50 or 60 riders,” added Rowe. “It bodes well for the next 10 days.”

Rowe missed Opening Weekend in Belgium due to illness so has relished being back on the cobbles over the past week.

“I race each day as it comes. All I was thinking about today was Dwars door Vlaanderen. You’ve just got to take each race for what it is. Every race we do out here is a big race, they’re all prestigious, they’ve each got their own history and I want to win. In my attack at the end there I was just thinking about getting the best result possible and nothing else.”
Luke Rowe

Luke Rowe

I just want to get a smooth run and deliver the best result possible.
Now it’s onto the Tour of Flanders.

“I just want a clean run through the race,” he continued. “I just want to be in the right place at the right time, avoid any crashes, mechanicals, punctures, and just be in the position to have the opportunity to deliver the best result possible. If there’s stronger guys on the day then so be it. If you’re on someone’s wheel and they drop you, what can you do? I just want to get a smooth run and deliver the best result possible.”
Final result:

1. Mathieu van der Poel (Correndon-Circus) 4:05:54
2. Anthony Turgis (Direct Energie) s.t.
3. Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)
4. Lukas Postlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe)
5. Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal)
6. Luke Rowe (Team Sky) +18”