Next to Omloop het Nieuwsblad, Wanty-Gobert also started on Saturday in the South-French race Faun Environnement-Classic de l'Ardèche (1.1). In the hilly race six of our punchers/climbers appeared at the start. The Frenchman Lilian Calmejane rode to a solo victory. Closely behind him a small group sprinted for the other podium places, with two Wanty-Gobert riders. Odd Eiking sprinted to third place, good for the first podium place in 2019 for our 24 year old Norwegian. Guillaume Martin finished 8th.
Odd Eiking: "The pace was not too high during the race. But in the final 20 kilometers the speed went up. We did a great team job with Marco and Thomas bringing us to the front of the peloton. The selection was made on the final climb and together with Guillaume I was able to hang on in the first group. I was in 3rd wheel the whole time and could grab a podium spot in the sprint, behind solo winner Calmejane. I am very happy with that!"
"I did not start the season with a superb feeling. But after a lot of race days in February I feel getting better, resulting in this podium spot today. Tomorrow another chance awaits in the Drome Classic, although the parcours is a little easier."
"After tomorrow we head with the climbers for an altitude training camp on Sierra Nevada. My next goal is to perform well in the Ardennes classics later this season. Last year I had to miss them due to sickness. This year I really look forward to these races, and especially Flèche Wallonne, where the finish should suit me."
1. Lilian Calmejane
2. Valentin Madouas + 00:04
3. Odd Eiking
8. Guillaume Martin
21. Fabien Doubey + 00:13
44. Bart De Clercq + 03:06
55. Marco Minnaard + 04:03
74. Thomas Degand + 08:16