Benoot solos to victory in Silkeborg!
Lotto Soudal rider Tiesj Benoot finished off an impressive display of teamwork during the opening stage of the Tour of Denmark today. In a lumpy stage, which was originally marked as one for the sprinters, a seven-rider group escaped on the final ascent of the day, at five kilometres from the finish. Both Lotto Soudal riders Tiesj Benoot and Jasper De Buyst were part of that move. As the front group approached the final kilometre, it was Tiesj Benoot who went to the front and created a gap, teammate De Buyst played it out perfectly. Benoot persisted in his effort, finished solo in Silkeborg and delivered Lotto Soudal its twentieth victory of the season. Jasper De Buyst made it a one-two for Lotto Soudal as he won the sprint for second place moments later. Benoot also leads the general classification following his impressive stage win. Tomorrow, the 25-year-old Belgian will be the last rider to roll down the start ramp in the 17 kilometres long time trial.
Tiesj Benoot: “Of course, it is a nice feeling to be able to win today. The team was really strong, even though we are only with six riders. Everybody did his part in my victory today. We knew beforehand that the local laps in Silkeborg would be quite tricky. Yesterday, we did a recon of the local circuit and that is when we decided that we would try to attack today. Already on the gravel section, at about fifty kilometres from the finish, we took the initiative ourselves to make the race harder, because it would be difficult to beat a rider like Merlier in the sprint.”
“With Jasper De Buyst, I had the perfect teammate alongside me in the breakaway, everybody looked at him, so I could take advantage of that. When I rode to the front at one and a half kilometres to go, I had a gap without attacking. And that is what Jasper De Buyst also shouted through the radio. When you have such a gap so close to the line, you can’t hesitate for a second. I went full gas until the finish and that was enough to take the victory. Of course, I want to keep the leader’s jersey. Tomorrow’s time trial is flat, so there won’t be any tactics involved. It will be about giving it all from start to finish. The course is not my favourite one, but if you want to do well in stage races of one week, you need to manage that discipline. There are still some nice stages to come this week. Friday’s stage to Velje immediately crosses my mind, in which I finished third in 2014, riding for the team as a stagiaire. But also for the other guys, there will still be chances the coming days.”