"I think Jasper is starting to feel the confidence in me" - Robbe Ghys enjoyed his leadout role for Jasper Philipsen

Last week, Alpecin-Deceuninck tested Robbe Ghys as new last-man of Jasper Philipsen's sprint train at the Baloise Belgium Tour. It was a new experience for Ghys, but one that left him wanting more.

"The Baloise Belgium Tour is always a fun race for me, because I once won my first race here," Ghys tells WielerFlits. The 27-year-old still has only that one professional victory. "It is always special to come back here, and to now do so in a domestique role for such a great champion, that makes it even more fun."

Philipsen won one stage and finished second in two other, each time after a textbook lead-out by Rickaert and Ghys. "It's one of the first times we've been able to do a lead-out together. I am very happy that I was able to do that in a very good way. It is a combination that we are now testing. I don't know whether that is a lasting combination, but I do feel good in that position behind Jonas. I think Jasper is starting to feel the confidence in me."

The internal analysis was therefore largely positive. "We had a strict plan and were able to implement it in detail. We made small mistakes here and there, but overall we are very satisfied with the two lead-outs we have already done. In Knokke Jasper waited too long to start his sprint. That may have been partly due to the confidence in me and confidence in himself. I think he has a good feeling now and won't make that mistake again."

Tour de France selection? The only issue is that Mathieu van der Poel could take up Ghys' spot. "I do feel pressure," he admits "That helps to keep myself sharp. I'm trying to give the best of myself and I hope it will be enough for a Tour selection. The entire team went on an altitude training camp in La Plagne, which is always one of the best weeks of the year there. A good group has been forged: everything went very relaxed. You sat together in a nice chalet. It was just a nice atmosphere that leaves you wanting more."

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