Last week’s Grand Prix de Valence was still on our minds this Sunday morning before the start of the Grand Prix de Marseille-La Marseillaise. The victory of Arnaud de Lie (see here) had shown that the rider from Lotto-Dstny had taken the start of the season well by the horns. The strategy of his adversaries was therefore above all not to roll out a red carpet for him before the long finish straight. “We were beaten against (Arnaud) De Lie in the sprint, we wanted to anticipate and we did it“, recalled Valentin Ferron, 2nd this Sunday, after the finish.
The Belgian descending WorldTour team quickly realized this. “The other teams played smart and nobody wanted to ride with us“, comments Arnaud De Lie for DirectBike. But such is taken who believed to take because the Lotto-Dtsny do not leave empty-handed Marseille and the arrival in front of the Stade Vélodrome since Brent Van Moer went to seek a place on the podium (see ranking) with the chief’s blessing. “We had a good collective and it would have been a shame not to put someone in front. It was done by pedal in the Route des Crêtes“. Brent Van Moer answered present for his team. “We were riding for Arnaud but when there were attacks on the climb, I followed because it’s difficult to chase breakaways after the last bumps“.
“I AM NOT AN INTERNSHIP MAN”
Once in front and the hole made on the peloton, the roller of the Lotto-Dstny plays the win. “I had pretty bad legs in Valencia“, he recalls. But when Neilson Powless came out before the Col de la Gineste, 13 km from the finish, the Belgian understood that the bouquet was moving away.”Cooperation was not very good. When Powless left, I knew we weren’t going to see him again because our band didn’t roll very well together.“. There was therefore still a place of honor to be sought in the sprint in a small committee in the counter group.”The final was on a very wide road. Everyone wanted to start from behind. It was nervous to place, finally I’m happy to be on the podium“. Behind, Arnaud De Lie did not even get involved in the sprint for 11th place.”We are 3rd in the race in the end. In the end we’re not doing so badly“, relativizes the Walloon.
The two riders will meet on Wednesday at the start of Etoile de Bessèges. Arnaud De Lie is hungry for lessons. “It’s my choice to follow the races quickly. I’m a runner, I’m not a showman. A lot of runners lose their sanity because of it.” he judges. Brent Van Moer is going to the Tour of Andalusia after Bessèges with the desire to be ready for the Classics. “I do not always aim for a big result, I especially want to see what I am capable of, and improve myself“. The 2021 Dauphiné stage winner in Issoire, after a big finisher number, does not forget the one-week races. “I want to return to Paris-Nice and the Dauphiné, take breakaways, and hopefully win a stage. In recent years I have shown that I can fight to win some nice races, and I hope to show it again this year.“. At Lotto-Dstny, Arnaud De Lie is not alone.