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Mathias Frank finished third and world road champion Philippe Gilbert was 10th for the BMC Racing Team Wednesday at Grand Prix de Wallonie.

Photo: Sirotti

GP DE WALLONIE

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MATHIAS FRANK

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18.09.2013 @ 18:11 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Frank, race winner Jan Bakelants (Belgian National Team) and runner-up Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar) slipped the peloton with less than 25 kilometres to go and stayed away to the finish of the 203.1-kilometre race. But on the final climb of the Citadelle de Namur, Frank was unable to follow an attack by Voeckler. Bakelants and Voeckler contested the win eight seconds ahead of Frank.

 

"When Bakelants attacked, I just followed wheels," Frank said. "It was my job to do this in the race. I haven't raced for almost three weeks, but my shape is good. But I was a bit on the limit when they were going full gas." Frank said he followed in the wheels of Bakelants and Voeckler, knowing Gilbert (winner of this race in 2006 and 2011) and teammate Greg Van Avermaet (runner-up here last year) were in a small group that was chasing.

 

"Our tactic was to go for Phil and Greg," the double-stage winner at the Tour of Austria said. "Having me up there, I was just waiting and wasn't riding very much with the guys. In the end, I couldn't follow, so it would have been better if they (Gilbert and Van Avermaet) had come back. But that's how it is."

 

Frank's podium finish was his seventh of the season. Earlier, BMC Racing Team's Larry Warbasse was part of a 10-man breakaway that enjoyed freedom until the final 40 km. "I was kind of surprised the break went almost on a downhill," Warbasse said. "We were just supposed to watch certain teams. I saw Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) was up there, so I rode across to it."

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