US Postal Service Team Report

News & Results

03/3/2003| 0 comments
by Thomas Valentinsen

US Postal Service Team Report

Van Heeswijk second at Het Volk

For the second straight race, newcomer Max Van Heeswijk reached the podium for the United States Postal Service Pro Cycling Team.  At the traditional Belgian season-opener on Saturday, Van Heeswijk placed second at Het Volk, finishing 14 seconds behind winner Johan Museew of Quick Step.  In fact, Van Heeswijk was the only non-Quick Step rider among the top five.

"I really felt great," Van Heeswijk said of his performance.  "It felt weird with those ex-teammates around me, but it gave me something extra to try and beat them."

With 65 km remaining in the 200 km event, Van Heeswijk was part of the race's decisive move as a group of seven rode away from the field in pursuit of the day's early breakaway.  The group of seven - Van Heeswijk, Museew and teammates Paolo Bettini, Tom Boonen and Frank Vandenbroucke, Fassa Bortolo's Filippo Pozzato and Cofidis' Peter Farazijn - worked together until with 23 km remaining, Van Heeswijk, Museeuw and Bettini rode clear.  Unable to overcome the team tactics set forth by Quick Step, Museeuw made the winning move with five km remaining while Van Heeswijk hung on for second place over Bettini.

"I have much more confidence in the future with this team," Van Heeswijk added.  "This team gives you very positive energy.  The team did it's best on Saturday.  We had some bad luck with George (Hincapie) crashing out, but the rest of the team did very good work."

Prior to Saturday's second place finish, Van Heeswijk's top peformance at Het Volk was a fourth place finish in 1998.

Yesterday, Antonio Cruz rode a solid race to finish 11th at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.  Just 35 km into the 190 km event, Cruz joined eight others and rode away from the peloton and built a lead over 10 minutes midway through the event.  With 20 km to go, five of the nine riders broke clear of Cruz and the rest of the group and went for the victory.  Eventually, Rabobank's Roy Sentjens attacked with two km remaining and was able to win by 19 seconds.  Cruz came across in 11th place, at 2:37.

HET VOLK
1.  Johan Museeuw, Quick Step-Davitamon; 200 km in 5:01:15
2.  Max Van Heeswijk; at :14
3.  Paolo Bettini, Quick Step-Davitamon; s.t.
4.  Frank Vandenbroucke, Quick Step-Davitamon; at 1:33
5.  Tom Boonen, Quick Step-Davitamon; s.t.
***
31. Viatcheslav Ekimov; at 3:32
43. Antonio Cruz; s.t.
57. Benoit Joachim; s.t.
DNF - George Hincapie
DNF - Guennadi Mikhailov
DNF - Pavel Padrnos
DNF - Matt White

KUURNE-BRUSSELS-KUURNE
1.  Roy Sentjens, Rabobank; 190 kms in 4:48:00
2.  Leif Hoste, Lotto-Domo; at :19
3.  Volker Ordowski, Gerolsteiner; s.t.
4.  Davide Bramati, Quick Step-Davitamon; s.t.
5.  Andy Flickinger, Ag2R; s.t.
***
11. Antonio Cruz; at 2:37
16. Benoit Joachim; at 4:53
22. George Hincapie, 5:31
DNF - Viatcheslav Ekimov
DNF - Guennadi Mikhailov
DNF - Pavel Padrnos
DNF - Max Van Heeswijk
DNF - Matt White

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