Jasper Stuyven rocks the cobbles to claim second at E3 Saxo Classic

Stuyven achieves his best-ever result at E3 after a collective show of force by Lidl-Trek

Historically speaking, E3 hasn’t been Lidl-Trek’s most successful race. In fact, since 2018, we haven’t been able to crack the top 10 – until today when Jasper Stuyven powered to second place, sandwiched between Van der Poel and Van Aert. Not only did Jasper proudly take a place on the podium, but Lidl-Trek were able to score three riders in the top ten, with Toms Skujiņš (8th) and Alex Kirsch (10th), as well as Mads Pedersen in 11th.

Speaking from the podium, Stuyven said: “It was a very hard day from start to finish. One man was above everyone else, but I’m happy to finish second behind him. Like always it was very hectic, very nervous, and the positioning was very important. If you have a good day with good legs it’s easier to go from climb to climb.

“I’m very happy, I think it’s a very nice result. As a team we rode super strong, we were there, we were present. Finishing second, to be on the podium here, is a great result for me and the team, it’s very satisfying. It was a combination of good legs and riding smart. I rode a strong final and was always present. I’ll leave it to the journalists to decide if I was the second strongest in the race.”

Such a performance also resulted in a very happy Lidl-Trek Sport Director. “I’m very happy because the guys rode very well, especially the first three guys: Mattias, Ryan and Otto. They were perfect like in a Hollywood movie,” lauded DS Gregy Rast. “From this, I think Alex could benefit a lot because he could save himself to work later. We had three leaders where we wanted them to be, in addition to Alex, who was never dropped. It was super nice to see that he could also stay there in a really reduced group. With four guys up there we were able to play our cards.

Otto did the run in to the Kortekeer perfectly, along with Mathias. They have the knowledge to be on top of the Kortekeer and then you can hold the position on the downhill to the Taaienberg. It’s not only us who knows this, and everyone wants to be in this position, so it’s even more impressive that they delivered us to perfection there.

This should really give us a lot of confidence for the cobbled classics. E3 has always been our weakest race and we showed a very good performance today. Ok, we didn’t win, but as looking at the team performance I think we were the strongest today.”

Photo gallery by Zac Williams