Alafaci outwits the field in holland
Eugenio Alafaci proved to be the strongest and smartest rider at the Omloop der Kempen (UCI 1.2), taking his first victory since he joined LEOPARD TREK in 2012. “I’m super happy. I have come close to a win a few dozen times, but now I’ve finally got it!”
Eugenio Alafaci was one big smile in the finish area in Holland. “The team was just perfect today. I felt a bit tired this morning, because of the race we did yesterday (where Alafaci took third place), but we were determined to go for a good result. With Piero Baffi reprensenting the team in the big break of the day, we could sit back and see the action unfold.”
Piero Baffi was part of a break of 11 riders that got clear after about 30 km. Alafaci: “The speed was still very high, because one team didn’t have someone in the break, so they controlled almost immediately. The break never got more than 1’20.”
With about 40 km to go the field had caught up with the larger part of the break, although three riders still remained up front. Alafaci: “Then there were several counterattacks. Joël and I both attacked and in the end I found myself in a small group. At ten to go, I attacked and got three others riders with me.
Alafaci, Dieter Vanthourenhout, Steven Lammertink and Gediminas Kaupas bridged across to Rens te Stroet, the last man standing of the original break. Alafaci: “There were two riders of the same team, so I was afraid of a tactical final. Indeed, one of those riders, Lammertink, attacked us and he went away. With one kilometer to go, I jumped and rode almost to his wheel. I saw that he was suffering a lot, so I kept a little gap and pretended to be suffering really hard as well, hoping that he would put all his cards on the table. He did. Then I closed in on him and left him behind to take the win solo.”
This is Alafaci’s first win for LEOPARD TREK, after taking countless top 3 and top 5 placings over the last 1,5 year. “I’m super happy with this victory. I was getting anxious for a win and now I have it. I feel a lot more relaxed now. Big thanks to the team – they did a great job today. But also in general: the support we have is great and I’m proud to reward the trust with a win.”