The GEOX-FUJI Test Team absolutely dominated the UCI 1.2 Circuit du Port in Dunkerque, France, finding a place on every podium.
10 kilometers into the race, three Test Team members attacked: Ian Holt, Lucas Persson, and Lars Andersson. Thomas Vanhaecke, along with 4 other riders, soon bridged up to the break, and the new 8-man lead group stayed away for nearly 50 kilometers.
Test Team members Taylor Kneuven and Jannes Wessels then joined the leaders, along with approximately 25 members of the peloton, but Lucas and Thomas escaped into a 12-rider break – a group pedaling on average at more that 50 km/hour.
12 kilometers to the finish, Thomas launched the first solo attack, but didn’t earn more than 10 seconds. A persistent and resilient Thomas attacked 3 more times before Lucas surged full force with 6 kilometers to go.
Lucas TT’d his way all the way to the finish line, while Thomas neutralized all counters, before winning the sprint for 2nd! Check out a video of the finish below, and see what Lucas had to say about “winning” the day before his victory!
And aside from the 1-2 Test Team podium, Thomas won the race’s U23 Classification, and the GEOX-Fuji Test Team took home the title for best team!
Team Manager Bernard Moerman said after the race, “We won this race seven years ago with Jussi Veilkanen, now riding for Omega-Pharma Lotto, and 3 years ago with Steven Van Vooren, now a member of Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator. So I was expecting big things, but this was huge!”
“The way Nat Thompson, Mathieu Selwa, Mikko Paajanen, Taylor Kneuven, and Ian Holt worked for the team was perfect,” added Bernard.
And while his teammates were off dominating in France, Test Team member Gertjan De Vos finished 5th and won the King of the Mountains jersey in a climbing race in the Ardennes, Belgium.
The GEOX-FUJI Test Team has been earning wins and podium finishes all across Europe this season, particularly in the last few weeks. And people are surely noticing. Bernard’s received more than 30 Belgian, 60 European, and 100 American and Australian applications for next season.
The 2011 Test Team members already confirmed for next year include: Taylor KNEUVEN (USA), Nat THOMPSON (USA), Ian HOLT (USA), Sean PASSAGE (USA), Geoff STRAUB (Australia), Jannes WESSELS (Canada), Paavo PAAJANEN (Finland), Mikko PAAJANEN (Finland), Sondre THORBERGSEN (Norway), Lucas PERSSON (Sweden), Lars ANDERSSON (Sweden), Mathieu SELWA (France), Thomas VANHAECKE (Belgium), Gertjan DE VOS (Belgium), and Arne CASIER (Belgium).