Welsh cyclists Geraint Thomas and Luke Rowe ended the warm-up race at Dwars Door Vlaanderen in Belgium playing a key supporting role to their teammates Ian Stannard and Matthew Hayman.
The race is seen as the first step in the lead-up to the 100th Tour of Flanders, a special occasion for one of the most important cycling competitions of the season, taking place in Belgium with the starting point set in Bruges.
Thomas, who almost secured a victory in the race in 2011, finished Dwars Door Vlaanderen’s race in the 19th position, ahead of Rowe, who finished in 36th place.
Luke Rowe tweeted after the race: “Tough day in the office here at Dwars Door Vlaanderen. Chuffed for the big man Hayman who finished the third.”
Hayman, who was consistent throughout the race, finished in the medal places behind winner Oscar Gatto and Frenchman Thomas Voeckler, whom the Italian passed only a few yards before the finish line.
Hayman was followed by Stannard, the British champion, who eventually took ninth place.
After the race, Sports Director, Servais Knaven, said on the Team Sky website: “It was a good race for the whole team and I think we can be happy and proud of how everyone performed.
“It was also a good race from the guys behind Mathew in the race. When there were counter-attacks on the climbs they were there to cover those which was good. E3 will be a good warm-up for Flanders.”
Cardiff-born Luke Rowe has just celebrated his 23rd birthday, and will compete tomorrow at E3 Prijs Vlaandren with Geraint Thomas along with other Team Sky colleagues.
Race website: http://www.ddvl.eu/en
Team Sky website: http://www.teamsky.com/
Luke Rowe’s twitter account: https://twitter.com/LukeRowe1990