Sam Welsford capped off a strong team performance at the one day Bredene Koksijde Classic to finish in third place, coming from behind to draw level on the line but just running out of road to get his wheel in front.
The race proved to be a hectic one throughout, apart from the early lull in action once the day’s early breakaway of four riders formed, eventually gaining up to six minutes before the gap started to fall under the impetus of the peloton behind. Team DSM were committed to riding for Welsford from the start, keeping him well positioned and out of trouble through the narrow lanes and exposed sections in which crosswinds often threatened to split the peloton.
Small groups formed in these tricky sections, as well as due to crashes in the peloton, but each time the race regrouped at the front. Everything was back together with 40 kilometres to race and from here the peloton was happy to keep the pace high in preparation for a bunch sprint.
The guys rallied well towards the front, positioning themselves ahead of tricky corners and narrow sections before dropping Welsford off in the final kilometre from where he had to come from behind to catch the sprinters ahead of him. Despite being the fastest over the closing metres, he just missed out on taking the win as his front wheel passed the line in third still carrying the speed to take him past the winner just after the line.