Sunderland hails Flecha

Teamwork again to the fore in latest triumph

By Jonathan Turner   Last updated: 28th February 2010

Scott Sunderland was full of praise for 'super-awesome' Juan Antonio Flecha - and the Spaniard's teammates - after his victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

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"It was fantastic, a great team effort and a super-awesome performance by Flecha."

Scott Sunderland

Flecha powered clear with 19km to go and never looked back from that point as he crossed the line in splendid isolation, 18 seconds ahead of the rest.

And Senior Sports Director Sunderland said it was a pleasure to be part of a famous victory.

"It was fantastic, a great team effort and a super-awesome performance by Flecha," said Sunderland.

"He was so, so strong and just did everything right. He must have been in a world of pain in those last kilometres but he kept going further and further clear.

"We were doing everything we could to encourage him and were constantly giving him the latest info - there's so much adrenaline in that situation and it's great to be part of."

Sacrifice

The race itself had the drama you'd expect at the start of the spring classics season and Sunderland was keen to stress just what a key role Flecha's teammates had played.

And one incident in particular summed that up as Sunderland explained: "Flecha had a puncture at a bad time but Mathew Hayman completely sacrificed his own chances by giving him his wheel. That was amazing but all the boys did a great job, they were superb."

Flecha himself echoed those comments about Hayman and the team as a whole and he also revealed how Sunderland and second DS Steven de Jongh had masterminded the win.

"Scott and Steven were incredible - they told me from the car it was a good moment to go [when he made his decisive break with 19km to go] and I never looked back again until 100 metres before the line."

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