Christine Majerus has gained the sixth victory for Team SD Worx in this early season. In the Omloop van de Westhoek, the Luxembourg champion and teammate Amy Pieters managed to form a break away, out of a leading group of eight riders, in the penultimate round on a cobbled section. After that it became a time trial with the two of them towards the finish. Just before the finish, Pieters, who won Nokere Koerse last Wednesday, let 34-year-old Majerus take the win. As a result, Team SD Worx has won its six victories this season with six different riders.
"This can be called the perfect race for the team," Majerus said after the finish in Ichtegem. "We had the feeling we were in control all the time. In the final Amy Pieters rode away with six other riders. I thought we should have a stronger presence in that group, so I made the jump to the leading group myself."
"In the penultimate lap Amy and I wanted to see which of the others was still strong. On the flat part of the cobblestone section Amy went full speed, while I took the initiative on the part where the road went uphill. When I looked back after the effort, I saw that I had a gap on Amy. But I also saw that Amy had closed a gap with the other riders. So it seemed wiser to wait for Amy so we could ride to the finish together.
Pieters didn't have to hesitate for long to give the victory to Majerus. "I had already won in Nokere last Wednesday, so that makes the choice easier. Besides, we always owe so much to Christine that everyone in the team likes to do something for her in return. Moreover, she was also very strong today.
With the victories of Pieters in Nokere Koerse and Majerus in Omloop van de Westhoek, Team SD Worx has shown it is ready for the big Flemish classics that are on the programme in the coming weeks. Thursday is Brugge-De Panne, Sunday Gent-Wevelgem and again a week later is the Tour of Flanders.
Majerus: "These results are definitely good for our morale. This race is not part of the WorldTour, but when you see how strong the team rides as a unit in this Omloop van de Westhoek, it gives a lot of confidence. We know we are ready for the important classics.
Still, Pieters warns that the team needs to stay focused into the important spring classics. "Of course this gives confidence, but we have also seen in the Trofeo Alfredo Binda that Elisa Longo-Borghini and her team ride very strongly. In the upcoming races there will be some strong girls. It means we have to stay sharp. The fact that everyone in the team rides well is an extra incentive. You notice that everyone is looking forward to the important period that is coming up."
Photo credits: Getty Sport