Explosive final lap shakes things up at Nokere Koerse
15 March 2023
After a fairly tranquil opening 160km at the 77th edition of the cobbled semi-classic Nokere Koerse in Belgium, the final 35km really shook the bones as the attacks popped left, right and center before a crash marred finale totally split what was left of the bunch leaving Team Novo Nordisk dodging the carnage and settling for the top 20.
Sports Director Gennady Mikhaylov:
“We suffered an early setback today losing Gerd to a crash, but thankfully he’s going to be ok and Andrea, Matyas, Peter were all up there as the race exploded.”
“As planned we wanted to try and work for. Andrea in the final but it was too chaotic and split all over the place. First Matyas and Peter got caught up in a crash and fell back, then Andrea in the last two kilometers and that was it. Game over. The first ten guys were alone to contest the win and our race was over. This is the classics season in Belgium and sometimes your cards can fall this way, the important thing is how we raced in general today and we look ahead to Friday at Koksijde now.”
“It was that kind of race today, because it was pretty fast in the beginning, then once the break went it slowed right down to a neutral pace and even stayed easy onto the closing laps. Then final lap…boom. The doors blew off and someone lit the touch paper.”
“We we’re expecting it and the subsequent attacks, but we weren’t expecting so many crashes in the last few kilometers and it really shook things up. I tried to avoid the last one but there was no chance. It’s a shame because the conditions were really good today.”