Doull powers to second in Kuurne

03 Mar 2019

Doull powers to second in Kuurne

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Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, 201.1km

Owain Doull’s brave late attack paid off handsomely at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne with the young Welshman finishing a superb second.
 
With solo leader Bob Jungels up the road, Doull launched a last-gasp move with around two kilometres to go, drawing out a number of riders on the final run-in.
 
Yet on the finishing straight in Kuurne it was only the Team Sky rider who remained, digging deep to finish narrowly ahead of the peloton, and with it secure the biggest result of his road career to date.
Owain Doull

Owain Doull

It’s unbelievable – it's the biggest result of my career.
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- Owain Doull
 
“With these races you believe you can do it, but until you actually do it you don’t know if you can. It’s a bit of a shock to be honest.
 
“I felt pretty good all day. The legs felt good and I was able to make that front split up the Kwaremont. Obviously that move came back and then the race was full gas chasing the front five. It was always looking like we were never going to bring Jungels back, and with about 3km to go I saw the lead-outs trains and the chase really started to die and it almost stalled. So I thought right, I’m going to go full gas now. I managed to jump away with Lampaert, Terpstra and a guy from Lotto Soudal came with me. We kept pushing and the gap looked good. I knew it was going to be tight, so I knew I had to go with 350m to go and I managed to hold on. 
 
“I’m super happy. I’ve changed a lot of stuff over this winter and I’ve re-focussed a few things and it’s all really starting to pay off now. It’s just nice to get that confirmation that all the hard work you’ve done over the winter building up to this has paid off.”
- Servais Knaven

“I think it's really good to see Yogi (Stannard) back at the level he was a few years ago. It's even nicer to see a young guy like Owain who has really stepped up this year. We all knew he had the potential but his Classics showings didn't work out like we all hoped in the first two years. But he's making the next step now, or maybe five steps at once! Finishing second in this race and riding that final like he did is pretty impressive.”
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The team had begun the day with just five riders following Dylan van Baarle’s hand injury sustained on Saturday. Despite that when a strong break went ahead of the Oude-Kwaremont the team were able to place Ian Stannard, Chris Lawless and Doull in the group. 

Stannard and Doull were part of an elite seven-man move which broke clear on the cobbled stretch, but the race would ultimately reform. Five riders, including Jungels (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) went clear on the Varent sector, and opened out a gap to the chasing pack.

Team Sky had numbers in the peloton, but there was no stopping Jungels, who accelerated clear of his fellow escapees with 16km to go. Doull made sure of a podium finish late on with a powerful surge, capping off a strong showing on Opening Weekend.

Overall result:

1. Bob Jungels (Deceuninck - Quick-Step)
2. Owain Doull (Team Sky)
3. Niki Terpstra (Direct Energie)
4. Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jumbo-Visma)
5. Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck - Quick-Step)

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