Fee Knaven of AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step rode to a solo victory on stage one of GP Vermarc in Belgium at the weekend to claim the initial overall lead of the race. On the final stage the following day, Fee finished third to end a successful event with the green jersey.
Covering 11 laps of a circuit around Rotselaar, the first stage covered a total of 70.4km. The AG Insurance Soudal Quick-Step team put on an attacking display from the off, in an attempt to make a hard race. However, strong winds made escaping hard, and it wasn’t until the intermediate sprint point that Fee was able to break clear and build up a substantial enough lead that would see her ride solo to victory. Fee finished ahead of Auke De Buysser, who will join her as a teammate next year.
The team’s DS, Christian Kos said “Our riders made a very sporty race. We were always on the attack, but due to the strong wind it was not easy to get to the front or to ride away from the peloton. In every attempted escape, there was always one of our girls.
In the last intermediate sprint, Fee managed to pull through and get away. She managed to build up a lead to the finish in order to cross the finish line solo.”
Fee added, “The whole team worked hard together all day. From lap 1, we took turns attacking, but without result. They wouldn’t let us ride. I had decided to go on the last lap after the intermediate sprint. Luckily this worked. I got away alone and I was able to keep this up for the last round. I rode to the finish alone, thanks to my teammates who were able to stop any attempts to catch me. This victory of course feels very good and I am very happy with it!”
On the second and last day of the GP Vermarc, Fee Knaven took her third place after a bunch sprint. Still a junior with AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step, Fee impressed with her overall win in the green jersey competition at the end of the weekend.
The second race was held in Boortmeerbeek, where the riders had to ride 11 laps of 6.5km on a fairly flat course for a total distance of 71.5km. The group stayed together until the last kilometres, so the riders had to prepare for a bunch sprint. Fee was delighted to finish with a podium place and a green jersey.