Canyon Eisberg sports director Tim Elverson has saluted his Antwerpse Havenpijl heroes after Rory Townsend finished eighth in the UCI 1.2 contest on Sunday.
Tibo Nevens sprinted to victory from Edward Planckaert, of Sport Vlaanderen Baloise, and Alecto’s Bas van der Kooij in Merksem, Belgium.
Meanwhile, Townsend showed his fighting spirit after spending much of the day up the road and seeing a late dig for glory snuffed out.
While Charles Page suffered a puncture inside the final 2km, Townsend refocused his efforts to snatch eighth in the bunch kick.
Disaster had struck for Page just as Kiwi team-mate Ryan Christensen was positioning the 19-year-old for the sprint.
Canyon Eisberg sports director Elverson revealed his pride after the 179.8km race. He said:
“From the break of the day, Rory still managed to finish eighth. He attacked with 1km to go as the break was being caught. A Sport Vlaanderen guy went with him but wouldn’t ride.
“The guys had earlier done really well to be in all four key moves of the race until that one (with Rory) stuck.
“Ryan had Charles in the top 10, riding smartly ready for the sprint until Charles punctured about 1.5km to go.
“They all rode really well. I’m just gutted for Charles because he should have been contesting that sprint.”
Matt Nowell (38th), Christensen (43rd) and Louis Rose-Davies (49th) rolled in with the front group, while Page was 1min 12sec down following his puncture.
Harry Tanfield was second to Arvid de Kleijn in last season’s contest. Click here for the full result of Sunday’s race.