Naesen: Gent-Wevelgem was a real race – and that's why you ride a bike

Oliver Naesen (Ag2R La Mondiale) was third in Gent-Wevelgem

Another weekend, another podium finish for Oliver Naesen ( AG2R La Mondiale ). Second at Milan-San Remo last week , the Belgian produced a more than passable sprint to take third behind Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) at Gent-Wevelgem this weekend. Naesen has built his reputation as a man happiest throwing himself into attacks and operating off the front of the peloton, but on Sunday, he admitted that missing the split was almost a blessing. An hour into this raucous edition of Gent-Wevelgem, a select group of 21 riders forged clear in the crosswinds near Gistel, but Naesen was not altogether displeased to find himself in a larger chasing group alongside all of the Deceuninck-QuickStep grandees. "Today I missed the first split, but I didn't mind that much, and I didn't panic," Naesen said afterwards. "It was a race of 250 kilometres, and I have often been in the situation ...

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