PEZ Speak: Nico Mattan 2005 Gent-Wevelgem Winner


In 2005, Nico Mattan grabbed victory in one of the crucial controversial editions of Gent – Wevelgem ever held. The newspapers ran and ran with it, however Sean Kelly noticed, “no issues” with the consequence. Ed Hood caught-up with the charismatic Belgian to listen to Mattan’s model of that still-debated day.

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No stress

PEZ: The spring of 2005 was a lean one to your Lotto crew, did you’re feeling underneath loads of stress going into the race?
Nico Mattan:
Not on me, the stress was on Van Petegem, he was team-leader and Steels, he was the second protected rider; I wasn’t paid to win races, they have been. I had superb kind coming in to the race, I had been third in De Panne, and Gent-Wevelgem passes inside 5 kilometres of my door, so my morale for the race was good. I by no means felt confused going right into a race.

Mattan main Musseeuw in Brabantse Pijl

PEZ: Lotto had a big Walloon ingredient, it’s mentioned that a number of the Flandrians, such as you, weren’t actually accepted.
I had no issues with the crew, however I had been with Cofidis earlier than and so they simply let me get-on with issues. I’ve all the time been a rider who likes a bottle of beer, at Cofidis it wasn’t an issue, they only let me stay my very own life. At Lotto, if I went right into a bar for a beer it was within the newspapers, on the TV – “Mattan is ingesting”, that was an issue for me about being with Lotto. I’ve been a professional for 14 years, that’s round double the typical rider’s profession; I wouldn’t have managed that if I drank an excessive amount of.

Mattan main Belgian champion, Nico Eeckhout, in De Panne

PEZ: Inform us in regards to the parcours of Gent-Wevelgem.
There are two races in Belgium the place the wind is the dominant issue, De Panne and Gent-Wevelgem; I’ve received each of them. Positioning is all the pieces, two kilometres away from a nook or climb, I’m desirous about the place I ought to be sitting on the street and within the bunch; you need to preserve a place within the high 20 on a regular basis. I educated on these roads day-after-day, I do know each one in all them.

On residence roads

If you’re an Italian or Spanish rider you simply don’t know what’s coming-up and it’s not possible to do nicely. In Flanders it’s much more vital to know the course, it takes 4, 5, six makes an attempt earlier than you’ll be able to win at Flanders. You would take Lance Armstrong on the peak of his July kind, drop him into Flanders and he couldn’t win. Aside from the wind and good place, one other issue is that you need to be extraordinarily cautious on the descent of the Kemmel – it’s very harmful. I can’t clarify it, however I actually don’t just like the Kemmel – it’s simply not my hill. My crew in 2007, DFL, didn’t trip Flanders; so on that Sunday I took the crew round many of the Gent-Wevelgem parcours to familiarise them with it for the Wednesday (Gent-Wevelgem was once held on Wednesday), it’s important.

In Het Volk’07 with DFL

PEZ: Whereas we’re with regards to Flanders, what else is vital over the cobbles?
Aside from situation and information of the course, the best tyre stress for the cobbles is significant. Usually I trip 7/8 bars however for Flanders it’s 5 bars. At first I attempt the tyres of different riders, even skilled guys like Bettini would have their tyres too exhausting. The selections are made on the cobbles at Flanders and you may’t be snug and prepared if you’re bouncing-about everywhere.

Main his good friend and teammate Frank Vandenbroucke and Lars Michaelsen

Proud of third place and the win for VDB

PEZ: Gent-Wevelgem is a “sprinters traditional” however you received from a break.
It’s not typically received by a rider alone, that’s true. Vandenbroucke received on his personal in ’98; I used to be third that day and it was my first massive consequence. In 2005 I attacked on the little hill simply after the Kemmel and eight or 9 of us went away. These roads are on my coaching circuit, I trip them nearly day-after-day; actually I trip the final eight kilometres of Gent-Wevelgem day-after-day. Coming in to the finalé, Flecha had jumped away however I used to be closing-in on him with Baden Cooke chasing me; he was fading although and dropping floor. Flecha and Cooke have been using perhaps 50/51 kph however I used to be using perhaps 51/52 kph. Once I caught Flecha with round 600 metres to go, I might have ridden from there to the road with my arms within the air, however I didn’t take the chance. Flecha was drained and I used to be nonetheless sturdy, after I noticed him forward it was like a magnet drawing me in the direction of him.

On the assault in Gent-Wevelgem 2005

Ought to Juan Antonio Flecha received in 2005?

PEZ: Have been you upset by the allegations that you simply had used the race vehicles to bridge-up?
In no way, persons are nonetheless speaking about that end, it received’t be simply forgotten and neither will my win. Certain I rode within the slipstreams of motorbikes and vehicles the place I might, that’s a part of professional bike racing, however the automobile I used to be imagined to have adopted was slowing-down to swing-off the end straight, doing perhaps 40 kph, I used to be doing 50 plus. When you have a look at the video, everybody was wanting forward at Flecha, I took everybody abruptly.

Nico Mattan – The 2005 Gent-Wevelgem winner

Wevelgem 2005 Podium

PEZ: How was morale within the camp after your win?
We had a celebration till three within the morning, there have been 600 folks there dancing on the tables and ingesting beer.

Beer or champagne, Mattan favored each

PEZ: Is that the win that gave you most satisfaction?
For positive, my spouse, household and all my buddies have been there. Freddy Maertens is an effective good friend of mine and he was in tears on the end. Whenever you win on your property territory, it’s very particular. In 2001, I received the Tour of Piedmont, I beat Paolini and Sacchi on their very own floor. It was an enormous win, however after it, you simply go to the following race, it’s not like successful at residence.

You’ll be able to’t beat a motorbike throw

# PEZ wish to thank Nico for his time and persistence. #

Nico Mattan nonetheless likes a great time, right here with Jo Planckaert and buddies

2005 Gent-Wevelgem Outcome:
1. Nico Mattan (Davimaton-Lotto) in 4:53:07
2. Juan Antonio Flecha (Fassa Bortolo) at 0:02
3. Daniele Bennati (Lampre-Caffita) at 0:09
4. Fabian Cancellara (Fassa Bortolo)
5. Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole)
6. Baden Cooke (Française des Jeux) at 0:16
7. Tom Steels (Davimaton-Lotto) 0:18
8. Simone Cadamuro (Domina Vacanze)
9. Erik Zabel (T-Cell)
10. Stuart O’Grady (Cofidis)
11. Jaan Kirsipuu (Crédit Agricole)
12. Magnus Bäckstedt (Liquigas)
13. Marcus Ljungqvist (Liquigas)
14. Steven De Jongh (Rabobank)
15. Grégory Rast (Phonak)
16. Antonio Cruz (Discovery Channel)
17. Matti Breschel (CSC)
18. Stefan Van Dijk (MrBookmaker-Sports activities Tech)
19. Vladimir Gusev (CSC)
20. Marcus Burghardt (T-Cell)
21. Robert Hunter (Phonak)
22. Ludovic Auger (Française des Jeux)
23. Lars Michaelsen (CSC)
24. Frédéric Guesdon (Française des Jeux)
25. Mathew Hayman (Rabobank)
26. Tom Boonen (Fast Step-Innergetic).

Watch probably the most complete stay & ad-free protection of Gent-Wevelgem 2022 on GCN+. Go deeper and get interactive with stay polls & quizzes, plus rider profiles, race updates, outcomes & extra – plus stream unique and unique biking documentaries. Watch all of it with GCN+ on any gadget.

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