Omloop Het Nieuwsblad - Davide Ballerini: When Alaphilippe got caught, he told me that it would be my day
Feb 28 2021 02:33 am CET

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad - Davide Ballerini: When Alaphilippe got caught, he told me that it would be my day
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad - Davide Ballerini: When Alaphilippe got caught, he told me that it would be my day
Photo of Davide Ballerini (c)Wout Beel

Deceuninck-Quick-Step's Davide Ballerini has taken the victory of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the fourth race title for his team.

It was a good day for the Belgian team as its riders were part of the front part of the race in most of the relevant moments of the competition. Even World Champion Julian Alaphilippe had his moment to shine as he rode alone for some kilometres but was caught just before the Muur-Kapelmuur.

None of the riders managed to create a gap in the last kilometres and everything came down to a bunch sprint, and in preparation Alaphilippe himself set a high pace to favour Ballerini. The Italian was the fastest of the bunch and took the biggest win of his career so far, just weeks after he took two stage victories at the Tour de la Provence.

"This is a dream! I can't believe it, words aren't enough to describe what his means for me and how I'm feeling after this victory," said Ballerini. "It's my second time in Omloop, and to win it after crashing at my debut two years ago is some incredible.

"It wasn't an easy race, but we kept going and believing in ourselves even when the break was eight minutes clear. Tim was huge again, and then Julian tried his chance and showed his panache, but the headwind worked against him. When he got caught, he told me that it would be my day and the entire team will work for me, and when the World Champion tells you this, it gives you extra strength. Everybody was so committed and believed in me, that the only thing you can do is take your hat off and say a big thank you!

"I remember watching this team crushing the cobbles when I was a kid, so to win now one of these races while wearing this jersey gives me huge pride, it's a big dream that came true today. The Opening Weekend is a big deal for Deceuninck – Quick-Step and I'm glad we made a lot of people happy with this win. Today was important also from a technical standpoint, because we raced for the first time with our Hell of the North clincher tires from Specialized and it proved to be the right choice."




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