Irvine doubles down in Elfstedenronde and realizes a dream

Sport director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“I’m really happy with Declan today, he fought extremely hard not only to finish the race, but to make it back in the front group and stay there on the final two laps was impressive. The bunch was really moving at that point and in these races with multiple finishing circuits, once you’re dropped on the last lap the commissaire doesn’t let you continue, so that makes it a real achievement.”

“Let’s try and carry this into Wednesday’s Belgium Tour and build on something positive.”

Declan Irvine:

“I was starting to get edgy on the last laps because I needed water and all I had was mix at that point and I was alone towards the back of the front group. Then something amazing Happened. Stephen appeared out of nowhere with water for me.”

“Stephen had already been dropped and heard me calling for water on the radio and went back to the team car, got water then battled his way up to me with whatever energy he’d got left to help me. That’s something special when a teammate does that of his own volition, especially when he’s suffering.

“In a way I did realize a dream today, I raced at a semi-classic I had watched roadside as a junior and I finished with the bunch when a third of the field was already out if it. I’ll go for an easy spin tomorrow to keep the legs moving and try to recover as best I can for the start of the Baloise Belgium Tour on Wednesday.”

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com