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SD Worx was back on the winner’s step Sunday with Marlen Reusser powering away for a convincing solo victory at Gent-Wevelgem.
The Swiss time trialist went off the front with about 40 kilometers remaining and built up a lead of close to three minutes by the time she crossed the line.
American rising star Megan Jastrab (Team DSM) won the sprint from the chasing group behind to take her first-ever WorldTour podium with Maike van der Duin (Canyon-SRAM) taking third.
Here is what the stars said after a wet and wild edition of Gent-Wevelgem.
Marlen Reusser (1st place)
It’s very nice and I’m super happy but I’m so tired that I don’t think I am here yet with my head.
I didn’t attack, I thought maybe we could make a bit of a selection or a small group and there was nobody on my wheel so I thought let’s try it. It was very hard, especially my arms. I cannot even dress myself now, I’m so done.
On going the wrong way
I didn’t see the guys giving me the way, I went straight, that was wrong. It was not so good. I was not concentrating.
Megan Jastrab (2nd place)
I don’t know if I ever thought it was really believable until Anna Henderson attacked with one kilometer to go and I was in a good position. But I was on the front and I was worried because I knew there was a group coming behind us that was coming pretty quick, so I was worried that we were going to get swarmed and boxed in. It just happened that someone opened it up a bit and I took over quite early for that long of a sprint, but I really wanted to get to that finish line first.
I’m not the fastest sprinter out there but after a hard race, I was going all in to get the team a podium.
Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx)
On the SD Worx crash in the final kilometers
Lorena got in the gutter and then she crashed and also Elena Cecchini. I was also just behind so I stopped to see what was happening because Lorena was screaming. I think in the end, she was just a bit shocked. We will see how she is, I hope she doesn’t have too many injuries.
On Reusser’s solo attack
Marlen is just super strong. I saw her going on the climb and I thought she was gone. If you know Marlen then you know that she is capable of doing this. It is very nice for her to win a classic like Gent-Wevelgem.
On other teams not chasing
Sometimes I don’t understand other teams. I mean, it’s good for us but if I was a director I would say to my riders to ride or attack immediately. Nobody was doing that so they were giving Marlen some free minutes.
Maike van der Duin (3rd place)
I’m so happy. It was a tough race, and the final sprint was long, but I kept pushing to give everything that I had. The bike throw at the line was needed to get this third place. We had confidence in Shari [Bossuyt] ahead of our group; honestly, I didn’t think we would catch them. Kasia [Niewiadoma] positioned me well at the front, and then when I saw it was coming back with 500m to go, I knew I had to go for it. We were unlucky with the crashes today but always regrouped as a team. My second World Tour podium feels pretty good.