Cycling | 1 maart 2017

Van Emden eighth in tough Le Samyn

Team LottoNL-Jumbo fought at the front in a tough edition of the GP Le Samyn today. Maarten Wynants and Jos van Emden attacked multiple times, but Belgian Guillaume Van Keirsbulck won the gruelling edition. Van Emden placed eighth.

The race was a true battle with the rain and cold. The Walloon roads were flooded by rain and mud and the cobbled sectors were dangerously slippery. 

In an exciting final, seven remained in the lead with Team LottoNL-Jumbo's Maarten Wynants. With 15 kilometers to go, the leading group fell apart. Wynants was caught by the peloton. Jos van Emden then went in pursuit and just missed catching the leaders in the final kilometres.

“I wanted a fierce and aggressive team today and they executed that perfectly,” said Sports Director Merijn Zeeman after the race. ”That's what you need in these kind of races. 

"The race was on from the first local circuit. Our first-year pro Amund Grondal Jansen showed his talent. Afterwards, Maarten Wynants made the leading group and in the final, it was Jos van Emden who came very close to the two leaders and the eventual winner Guillaume Van Keirsbulck. "The team was eager, fanatical and they fought in the icy cold weather."

Van Emden raced a strong finale, but the rain and cold had an chilling effect.

"Fortunately, the cold didn’t affect my performance," said Van Emden. “I was terribly cold but felt strong. I rode to win and came very close to the two leaders. Under the banner of the last kilometre, the group behind me came back. In the group not everyone went full, but I did not gamble on a second or third place. I wanted the victory. I’m not so often in a position to win. I at least took my chance in this final and in an ideal scenario, you win. That was not the case today, unfortunately."