Etixx-QuickStep brought guns to the Ronde van Zeeland Seaports knife fight with the Belgian team blowing away the field to claim the first four places.
Cycling Central

7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:35 PM

While a minor event Etixx-QuoickStep took no prisioners in using the Dutch race as a warm-up with the major classics like the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix just in sight.

Niki Terpstra, Iljo Keisse, and Lukasz Wisniowski attacked out of a big group with 100km to go and built a 1min 50sec advantage over about 15 chasers, including their own teammates Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Nikolas Maes, Matteo Trentin, and Yves Lampaert, with 70 kilometers remaining.

The trio went on to decide the podium places after holding a five minute advantage going into the last two laps of the race.

At that point the peloton was reduced to just 20 riders after the wind, rain and cold took its toll on the riders.

The victory went to Keisse, with Terpstra, Wisniowski and Lampaert following for a 1-2-3-4 finish.

"It was a very hard race today with a lot of wind, rain, and it was pretty cold," sport director Tom Steels said.

"After 30 kilometers the guys were in the breakaway with a group of 23 riders. Yves Lampaert eventually bridged to the group of 23, giving us seven Etixx-QuickStep riders in the group At 100 kilometers to go three of our guys, Niki Terpstra, Iljo Keisse, and Lukas Wisniowski, accelerated and our three riders established a good gap.

"For the team we decided that Iljo Keisse could win this race. We were actually in a luxurious position. We only needed to choose who finishes where on the podium, so the decision wasn't hard to make. As a sport director you can only dream of a scenario like this. I must say that they didn't just get this win as a gift. They really fought hard for this scenario to happen. This is such a nice feeling and a great win."

Ronde Van Zeeland Seaports: 196.1km
1 Iljo Keisse (Bel) Etixx-QuickStep 4hr 34min 36sec
2 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx-QuickStep
3 Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Etixx-QuickStep
4 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx-QuickStep 0:02:10
5 Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:02:56
7 Timo Roosen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:03:02
8 Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Etixx-QuickStep
9 Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10 Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Lotto Soudal 0:03:31