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by Mark Zalewski
March 30, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Kristoff wins second stage of De Panne, Gilbert extends lead; Avila wins a second stage at Tour de Taiwan; Better than ever at Spring Classics, Durbridge sets his eyes on Flanders and Roubaix; Hall closes in on Allegaert as the Indian Pacific Wheel Race approaches its final 1,000km; Keukeleire out of De Panne with Achilles injury; 15 riders, including stage winner Gilbert, fined for riding sidewalks at De Panne opener; Gamesmanship between Quick-Step Floors and Sagan heading into Flanders; Van Avermaet confident heading into Flanders; Bouhanni extends with Cofidis for two years; Gaviria leaves Classics to focus on Giro; Team Sunweb gives injury updates; Bernard Hinault inducted into Giro hall of fame; Phil Gaimon’s “Worst Retirement Ever,” episode 1: Palomar; Cross is not coming (yet).
Describing himself as very frustrated shortly after crossing the finish line on Wednesday, Luke Durbridge has chosen to focus on the positives for the remainder of the Three Days of De Panne-Koksijde and beyond. The Australian is secure in the belief that his form is exactly where it needs to be to chase important victories, and accepts it was tactics rather than anything else that cost him the chance of overall victory. Because of that, he is able to remain upbeat about upcoming races, including Thursday’s time trial in De Panne, plus the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix Classics.
“Trek just split it there in the Muur section,” he told CyclingTips and a handful of other journalists at the finish in Koksijde. “I was not in too bad position. But a few guys losing the wheel in front of you and, before you know it, the gap has opened up. QuickStep had all their guys there and we had none. But you live and you learn.
“A few guys couldn’t hold the wheel and that was it. I had to chase pretty hard and never really got there. That’s the way it is.”
Durbridge finished an impressive second to former world champion Philippe Gilbert on Tuesday’s opening stage, rolling across the line 17 seconds back but the same margin ahead of the next riders.
However his chances of staying in the frame took one knock when he missed the split which arose after a series of climbs plus a section of strong winds. The second blow was Orica-Scott’s lack of horsepower at the race. The team started with just six riders, two less than most other teams, and lost Chris Juul-Jensen.
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