Lisa Klein in 15th place was CANYON//SRAM Racing’s best placed rider after today’s Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne in Belgium. With the lack of climbs, cobblestone sectors and strong winds, the UCI Women’s WorldTour race came down to a bunch sprint. Kirsten Wild (WNT) took the victory in the 151.7km race ahead of Lorena Wiebes (PHV) and Lotte Kopecky (LSL).
“It’s the first time I’ve really been the number one sprinter for the team in a predicted full-on bunch sprint. It was an amazing experience to have the whole team supporting and working for me all day and I’m really proud of their efforts. My head was in order, I took the opportunity, I didn’t doubt myself, and I never backed out of that responsibility,” said Klein after the race.
Read the rest of Klein’s comments and reactions from each of the riders below.
“I was feeling good, super powerful and I had really good legs today.”
“Now, I’m kind of angry because the lead out didn’t work out like we wanted. I was too far back in the last corner and couldn’t really sprint. As a sprinter, having such good feelings during the race, but then crossing the finish line and feeling like you haven’t spent everything, it’s a sensation that you don’t like.”
“On the one hand I’m proud, and on the other hand I’m disappointed. That’s cycling, it’s about getting everything right and then being able to deliver. We have harder races coming up now so I’m super motivated and I’m looking forward to race again and again.”
“I felt strong in my support role for Lisa. Our team plan was to set her up for the sprint. Rotem and Tanja did well in the first half of the race by representing us at the front. There were a few crosswind sections, but we were represented in the front, and I covered most of the attacks in the last 30km.”
“The race itself was very hectic, and the challenge towards the end was finding each other and staying together. It took Tiff and I awhile to find Lisa, but we eventually brought her to the front. Unfortunately, a rider swung into my front wheel and broke a spoke. I was unsure of the damage and afraid of causing a crash, so I peeled off. That left Tiff alone to get Lisa to the finish. I’m not sure what happened in the last kilometre, but we’re disappointed that our efforts were not rewarded. However, Sunday brings another opportunity!”
“We are obviously disappointed with the outcome of today’s race. With the wind direction, the race wasn’t physically demanding and was difficult for any breakaway attempt to get any distance. There was a lot of movement in the bunch which led to times where we were boxed in. We weren’t able to set Lisa up how we wanted to for the sprint.”
“My role was to take care for the girls as long as I can, so they’ll be out the wind and to make sure they don’t need to worry about what was happening in the front. We had good communication as a team today.”
I tried my best to do my job until my legs stopped me. I was aiming to be there also for the last stretch to help out but that didn’t happen. From one side, I did what was needed at the start, but on the other hand, I really wanted to give more.”
“Overall we had a solid plan: we knew what we wanted to do and everyone had their roles. Wind wasn’t a factor today but the pace was high and the whole peloton was always on edge.”
“We were all in for Lisa today if it was to be a sprint. There were a couple of times we were out of position but we never found ourselves completely on the back foot. We got it together on the last lap—Alice did a good job to bring us there— everyone together and well-positioned.”
“The final 5km was hectic— a massive washing machine—where we were together, then not, then together again. Just before 1km to go Alexis and Lisa came back up to where I was. But then Alexis was tangled with another rider and broke her wheel. Luckily, we were able to avoid that, but It was down to just Lisa and I for the last kilometre. I tried my best to bring her through the narrow section before the last corner, but we couldn’t get a super clear run or find space to move up enough. We needed to be further forward and there was too much ground to make up out of the final corner to contend for the podium.”
“First I was super happy that my legs felt good again. Rotem and I were supposed to take care of the girls, hold them out of trouble and cover attacks. The whole team rode close together and I really liked that. My radio wasn’t working, but because of the close formation Tiff, Alexis and Lisa gave me good feedback and could guide me. I think Rotem and I shared our work quite well, especially during the first 100km.”
“Overall, I can say that I emptied myself several times and gave my all, but if I learn to save more energy riding near but not on the front, I think I can be there for the final and be a better support overall.”