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Omloop Het Nieuwsblad: Tratnik triumphs and hails biggest win of career | Cycling

Jan Tratnik achieved a stunning victory in Omloop Het Nysblad, earning what he described as the “biggest victory of my life”. The 34-year-old Slovenian took off in the final 10km, surprising his esteemed rivals and team-mates.

Dutch superteam Visma-Lease A Bike took first and third places on the podium, with Wout van Aert winning in the collective sprint in the end, but it was far ahead of the riders they expected. It wasn’t a combination. The bus before the race.

Even with 20km remaining, it looked like Van Aert or Matteo Jorgensen were likely to win, but when the leading group regrouped, Nils Pollitt and Tratnik made a brave attempt to escape and took a 16-second lead. Ta. The riders came to Ninove. Pollitt led the sprint until the final kilometer, but looked exhausted by the time the veteran Tratnik raced to the line and passed him.

“I’m a little surprised that I won because [Visma-Lease A Bike] “We have a very strong team for the Classic,” Tratnik said after the game. “I didn’t do a lot of classical productions before, and now I had more domestic roles, but still. They did a really good job in the first half of the race. I just missed it. [the breakaway] I was in the back, but there were 5 people in front of me so I couldn’t relax in the back. From then on, I just kept believing. After driving everyone back, I launched a counterattack. In the last kilometer I was a little worried about whether I would be able to win the sprint, but when I saw that Nils started quite early I started to believe that I could win. ”

The peloton was blown up early in the race, causing more than 30 riders to flee in large groups. The race was further shortened with about 50km remaining, with Christophe Laporte, Van Aert, Jorgensen, Gianni Moscon (Soudal-Quickstep), Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers), Toms Skuzins (Lidl-Trek), Arnaud de Lee (Lotto-Disntney) followed. Looks like they decide the competition between them.

Jan Tratnik (second from left) in action during the race. Photo: Shutterstock

As Jorgensen began to move with 17km to go, his teammate on the Visma Rees A bike took his foot off the gas, eventually losing control of the leading group, which swelled from an elite group of six to more than 20 riders. . Pidcock was in a good position with the leaders until the end, but he was unable to hold on and ended up finishing in 8th place.

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“I blew it at the end,” he told Eurosport after the race. “It was tough, especially the race from the 30km mark. I knew from the beginning that the wind was going to be strong, even if it wasn’t as strong as I expected. I don’t know how long it was, but it was 40 seconds. I was going down the road with a split of 1, but that didn’t happen. I lost my footing at the end, but that’s what it is.”

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