Vanendert: "We tried but Alaphilippe and Valverde were very strong"
April 18 th 2018 - 17:06
Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Soudal): “I’m very happy to be third here. This is the week with my favorite races so I’m really delighted. We took the start with Tim (Wellens) as our leader, and Tiesj (Benoot) and I were supposed to help him in the finale. I did a long uphill sprit to get rid of the most explosive riders. When I looked behind with 200m to go, I saw Alaphilippe’s eyes so I knew Tim wasn’t there. We tried but Alaphilippe and Valverde were very strong. I rode the Mur de Huy the way I wanted, with my own tempo. I saved a little bit of strength until the last curve to the right and I gave it all. Maybe things could have been a little different if I had been in the lead 100 or 200m later, but it wouldn’t have changed much. It took five years before we understood going to the Mur with Valverde and letting his team set the pace all day wasn’t the best option. People wanted to speed things up, with Sky and Kwiatkowski going on the move early. In the end, Valverde was alone and already needed to work a bit. Maybe that’s the difference why he is second this time and not first.”