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by Neal Rogers
May 25, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Pierre Rolland solos to victory from breakaway on Stage 17 of Giro d’Italia; Velon shares power data on Rolland’s Giro stage win; Coquard wins opening stage of Baloise Belgium Tour; Aussie Michael Storer takes stage win at An Post Rás; Aberasturi wins Stage 4 at Tour of Japan, Canola holds GC lead; Martyn Irvine sidelined after suffering hip fracture in Baloise Belgium Tour; UCI suspends Soul Brasil Pro Cycling for 35 days for multiple doping violations; Synergy Baku fires Averin after UCI doping ban is imposed; Colorado Classic names 14 teams, including four WorldTour squads; Monash University researchers seek Melbourne cyclists for passing distance study; Video: Orica-Scott reviews their day after Stage 17 of the Giro d’Italia
French sprinter Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) took the opening stage of the five-day UCI 2.HC Baloise Belgium Tour, a 178-kilometre stage between Lochristi and Knokke-Heist, ahead of Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Soudal).
“The race went perfectly for us, but at the end of the day, one rider was better,” Debusschere said. “We took control over the peloton in the beginning of the stage to make sure that only a small group could escape. Afterwards, Rémy Mertz took the lead in the peloton, together with riders from Trek and Quick-Step. Rémy rode a very strong race today. Three kilometres before the finish line, we moved to the front of the peloton and the lead-out was perfectly executed by my teammates. Unfortunately, I could not hold off Coquard.”
Last week Coquard announced that he would not be returning with Direct Energie in 2018.
“I want to see something else, and give a new impetus to my career,” he said. “I spent several years here from the Vendée U to Direct Energie, the team brought me a lot and I hope I have also brought them something. Today, I feel that the quest for performance, which has always inspired me, involves a change of team, a new challenge.