Lotto Belisol: André Greipel animates final stage Eneco Tour
A 208 km long stage between Tienen and Geraardsbergen closed the Eneco Tour today. It was a feisty stage in the Flemish Ardennes with eleven hills on the route. Lotto Belisol rider André Greipel animated the stage by joining a long breakaway. The victory was for Zdenek Stybar, who also became the overall winner. After 45 kilometers a front group of eight was established with among them the German national champion André Greipel. He had company of men like Pim Ligthart, Ian Stannard and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck. They collected up to seven minutes.
The finish was drawn on the Vesten in Geraardsbergen, where the riders first had to conquer the Muur twice. Greipel was wearing the red Lotto points jersey, he had the same amount of points as Lars Boom. After he had won the first intermediate sprint on the Bosberg, Greipel accelerated on Tenbosse and took eight points there as well. Because of that action he got in front together with Ligthart and Stannard. After the second climb of the Muur Greipel stayed ahead with Stannard. The British rider left Greipel behind on the second ascent of the Bosberg, so Greipel only picked up five points. At the end he fell one point short for the win of the points classification because Lars Boom became third in the stage. 6 kilometers from the finish Zdenek Stybar attacked and joined Stannard, it became a thrilling final. Together they rode up the Vesten. Stybar took the double, stage win and overall victory; he took over the leader’s jersey from Tom Dumoulin.
André Greipel impressed today and came very close to winning the points jersey. Earlier this week he won the fourth stage in Vlijmen. We had a review with sports director Herman Frison.
Herman Frison: “André Greipel was fantastic today. It was our intention to have someone in a big break. This to defend the GC of Tim Wellens who was standing 15th and to aim for a stage win with Jürgen Roelandts. Wellens is still young and that definitely plays a role in a stage of more than 200 km at the end of a one week stage race. Roelandts couldn’t compete with strong guys like Boom and Stybar today. So there is disappointment after this stage. Greipel has done it very well and made the race tough.”
“We won one stage, even in a superior way, but we aimed for more: we came to the Eneco Tour to get a good GC and to win one or two stages. Our Eneco Tour was good, but not good enough. Of Greipel we already knew he was a strong rider. He set a great performance today, unfortunately it yielded him and us not much. André loses the points jersey with one point and that’s a pity.”