What's Cool In Road Cycling

Lotto Belisol: Review Tour de Wallonie

The final stage in the Tour de Wallonie took the riders from Soignies to Thuin. It was 144,7 km long and in the final the Mur de Thuin (380 m and 9% average) had to be climbed twice. The victory was for Greg Van Avermaet who’s also the overall winner. Three riders animated the stage: Bobridge, Delfosse and Vallée. 17 km from the end they were caught. Then the two passages over the Mur de Thuin still had to come. The top was 600 meters before the finish. Greg Van Avermaet attacked the second time, got a gap and won. He had also won the 3rd stage. Leader Aleksandr Kolobnev lost time, at the finish it turned out he had mechanical problems.

Tim Wellens, who became 7th today, is the first Lotto Belisol rider in GC on place eight at 26” and is the 2nd best young rider. The 22-year-old rider attacked on day one with a group of five and took some bonification seconds, but they didn’t make it to the end. Because of a crash in the final the field was split up and Wellens lost important seconds. But the GC would be reviewed. Yesterday the team could celebrate thanks to the victory of Kenny Dehaes who won the sprint after great teamwork. Jens Debusschere didn’t start today, because of an injury on his backside.

Bart Leysen, sports director: “We came to the Tour de Wallonie to win a stage and to ride a good GC with Tim Wellens and Jelle Vanendert. Yesterday all fell into place and Kenny could win, we raced as a team. He’s riding a very strong season, won already in Mallorca and is performing well for a while now. It’s his fifth win and in the meantime he participated in the Giro.”

“The first day much was already played for the GC because of the late attack and we could forget about a high ranking. The bonification seconds played a very important role in this race. Tim had used his strengths by going along in the first break, so it’s logical he didn’t follow. Today he got far in the final. Jelle Vanendert has made a very good impression and got better each day. He was out of competition for a long time and never had any problems here, that’s reassuring.”

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