Milan Menten has finished off impressive team work by Lotto Dstny at the GP Samyn (UCI 1.1). After a tough race in and around Dour, the 26-year-old Belgian was the fastest of a reduced bunch that sprinted for the win. When a breakaway with Victor Campenaerts got caught at four kilometres from the finish, Menten took his chance as the newcomer at Lotto Dstny finished it off with a strong sprint on the uphill finish. For Menten, it’s the first win in Lotto Dstny outfit, the Belgian was flanked on the podium by Hugo Hofstetter and Edward Theuns.
Menten can hardly believe that he won GP Samyn, the second victory of his career. “This is unbelievable, it’s a dream come true to win for Lotto Dstny so fast. Our plan was to make the race hard and we did that perfectly. With Victor Campenaerts and Jarne Van de Paar in the front group, we were in a perfect position”, says Milan Menten.
Le Samyn, the opener of the Walloon Classics exploded at 60 kilometres from the finish when amongst others Lotto Dstny tried to make it a hard race. That succeeded as a group of six went clear after a tactical game on the cobbles and windy flats around Dour. That breakaway included two Lotto Dstny riders: neo-pro Jarne Van de Paar and Victor Campenaerts. After a strong race, Van de Paar had to let go, going into the final ten kilometres but also the rest of the front group was caught by the reduced bunch. It was Menten who took advantage of the excellent Lotto Dstny team play as the 26-year-old sprinted to victory.
“I could save my forces and when the front group was caught, I took my chance. It split in the final two kilometres, I had to give it my all but remained calm and waited for the right moment to launch. I’m at my best after a hard race and an uphill drag to the line like this, suits me really well. This was really a team victory today, we are a tight group, which also shows in the race. It is clear that the changes of the past winter, for example in the performance team, are paying off. But we are a team that’s still growing and I am convinced that we can still show some beautiful things. Personally, I’m really happy with this first victory in Lotto Dstny shirt”, concludes Milan Menten.