Wellens needs to cede leader’s jersey in BinckBank Tour closing stage
Wellens has to settle with third place in the overall standings.
After an action-packed final stage in the BinckBank Tour, Tim Wellens was able to obtain a nice third place on the general classification. The Lotto Soudal rider was definitely one of the strongest of the peloton as he attacked numerous times during the local laps in and around Geraardsbergen. But in the final kilometres, everything came back together and it was Michael Matthews who sprinted to victory. The Slovenian rider Mohoric secured his leader’s jersey and wins the BinckBank Tour.
Before the final stage between Lacs de L’Eau d’Heure and Geraardsbergen, Lotto Soudal still had two riders inside the top ten of the general classification: Tim Wellens and Victor Campenaerts. They played it perfectly. First, it was Victor Campenaerts who joined and set up several counterattacks. At the start of the final local lap, Tim Wellens attacked on the iconic Muur van Geraardsbergen and only a couple of riders managed to stay on his wheel. Partly thanks to this display of power, Wellens could together with Oliver Naesen catch the remaining escapees before the Golden Kilometre began. That way, he grabbed seven precious seconds. Naesen tried to go solo but was eventually caught by a heavily reduced bunch who would sprint for victory in Geraardsbergen. It was the Australian Michael Matthews who proved to be the strongest, he beat Van Avermaet and Stybar. Tim Wellens sprinted to sixth place and secured, thanks to the bonification seconds which he earned in the Golden Kilometre, the third place on the general classification.
Tim Wellens: “I wanted to join Oliver Naesen after he attacked, but his pace was just a little too high for me. I went over my limit and actually, I never recovered from that effort. It’s a shame because it was a nice opportunity. Things would have looked differently if there had been a tougher stage on the menu this week, but it is what It is. The team assisted me perfectly, Victor Campenaerts also raced strongly as he attacked several times today. Of course, we would have loved to take a stage victory, but I think this is the highest result that was possible.”
“It’s always nice to battle for victory and to be one of the strongest riders in the race. Mohoric definitely deserves the GC win, he never cracked today. Actually, he laid the foundations for his win especially during the stage to Antwerp. Next week, I will ride the GP Plouay after which I will travel to Canada, I really love the races there. Then, I will train hard towards the World Championships in Innsbruck. It is now important to not go into overdrive and to be in top shape at the right moment.”
Lotto Soudal also participated in the EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg today. The Italian rider Viviani sprinted to victory, he beat Demare and Kristoff. Jasper De Buyst, the first Lotto Soudal rider, finished in fourteenth place.
It’s always nice to battle for victory and to be one of the strongest riders in the race.