Emotional victory for Marcel Six as GPN squad take first international win in Belgium

PUBLISHED: 09:46 10 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:47 10 April 2019

GPN Builders/Rock & Road Bikes' Michael Parry leads the break at the Bellem Aalter LWU Classic with Marcel Six in fourth. Picture: GEORGE SCHEPENS

GPN Builders/Rock & Road Bikes' Michael Parry leads the break at the Bellem Aalter LWU Classic with Marcel Six in fourth. Picture: GEORGE SCHEPENS

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The GPN Builders-Rock and Road Bikes team hit a huge milestone in their fledgling history as they claimed a first international win.

The break containing GPN Builders/Rock & Road Bikes' Michael Parry and Marcel Six is chased down by the main field at the Bellem Aalter LWU Classic. Picture: GEORGE SCHEPENSThe break containing GPN Builders/Rock & Road Bikes' Michael Parry and Marcel Six is chased down by the main field at the Bellem Aalter LWU Classic. Picture: GEORGE SCHEPENS

The St Albans-based squad travelled to the Bellem Aalter LWU Classic, west of Ghent in Belgium, and the five-man squad of Clay Davies, Luke Houghton, Michael Parry, Marcel Six and Adam Strudwick not only returned with the team prize but also the overall win for Six, ably backed up by Parry’s third spot.

And Six had an extra reason for the delight over his victory.

GPN Builders/Rock & Road Bikes' celebrate Marcel Six's win and Michael Parry's third at the Bellem Aalter LWU Classic.GPN Builders/Rock & Road Bikes' celebrate Marcel Six's win and Michael Parry's third at the Bellem Aalter LWU Classic.

He said: “It was quite an emotional day for me. I wanted to win this as it’s close to where my dad grew up and after his sudden passing I wanted to go and get a good result.

“To get the win means a lot to me and it’s completely dedicated to him.”

GPN Builders/Rock & Road Bikes' Michael Parry goes on the attack in the Bellem Aalter LWU Classic. Picture: GEORGE SCHEPENSGPN Builders/Rock & Road Bikes' Michael Parry goes on the attack in the Bellem Aalter LWU Classic. Picture: GEORGE SCHEPENS

The race saw 100 riders and some top teams lining up but the squad only had one thought in their mind from the off - attack.

They covered most moves until Parry and Six got into the initial break on the fifth lap of 21.

GPN Builders/Rock & Road Bikes' Marcel Six in the Bellem Aalter LWU Classic. Picture: GEORGE SCHEPENSGPN Builders/Rock & Road Bikes' Marcel Six in the Bellem Aalter LWU Classic. Picture: GEORGE SCHEPENS

A car on the roads with 10 laps to go saw the lead slashed from its maximum of 35 seconds but even though it got caught, both Six and Parry were able to get into the next group of eight to escape up the road.

Parry had been the main instigator and it proved to be the winning move, with the group quickly gaining a minute gap.

And he made the initial move on the final lap, drawing two away with him.

But they were joined with just 1.5km to go by Six and the pair were able to work together over the final metres to take first and third, with Pieter Roeygens of Belgium coming second.

And to add to the day’s success, Davies was second in the bunch sprint behind to claim 10th overall.

Director sportive Gary Nugent said: “The whole team worked hard for this race the whole winter and it showed getting three riders in the top 10 and two on the podium is amazing.

“We’re on a massive high and we want to continue this success.

“All five are capable of winning these type of races and it showed.

“We are a solid unit and work together like a well-oiled machine.”

Job done, the squad were then able to relax and watch the Tour of Flanders, a monument of world cycling and a race which Six described as “a must see with an electric atmosphere”.

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