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"This is always my best time of the year, that gives me extra confidence and especially now with this new victory. In the next races I want to be good again."

Photo: Lotto Soudal

GP DE WALLONIE

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JENS DEBUSSCHERE

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LOTTO-DSTNY

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16.09.2015 @ 22:48 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Jens Debusschere won the Grand Prix de Wallonie this afternoon. The Lotto Soudal rider arrived solo at the finish on the Citadelle de Namur and took his second victory of the season, he already won a stage at Tirreno-Adriatico.

 

An early breakaway of five was caught with fifty kilometres to go. The riders had a tough day, especially due to the weather conditions, there was a pouring rain. In the next phase there were several attacks, also Louis Vervaeke had a go. Eventually nine riders got in front, Jens Debusschere and Jelle Vanendert were in that group. They had the company of Bakelants, Bille, Bonnamour, Laporte, Molard, Pinot and Vichot. These riders started the climb of the Citadelle de Namur together. Debusschere attacked just before the last kilometre and beat his companions. Six seconds later Jan Bakelants crossed the finish line as second, Christophe Laporte was third. Jelle Vanendert finished fifth.

 

“This win is marvelous, it’s the first time I take a solo victory as a pro," Debusschere said. "I had a difficult moment on the climb just before the Citadelle, I was the last of our group to get to the top. The Cofidis riders (Laporte and Molard, ed.) set the pace in the beginning of the last hill. Just before entering the last kilometre the pace went down and I decided to attack. I knew there was a possibility at that point, just before the sprint would start. Jelle and I had talked and agreed that I should make the first move and if Bakelants would do a counterattack Jelle would react. Bakelants made the best impression during the day and for me it was good that the others focused on him.

 

"We kept forces for the finale with the team. On the final climb, Jelle Vanendert said he would bring the group to the red kite. He was fit, but still lacked a little punch. I then attacked with 600 meters to go and no one followed me. I have given everything which allowed me to win solo. A quite incredible success because this is my first win of this type since I turned professional. However, I remain a sprinter. I had already survived the climbs in the Tour of Britain, which shows that I progress every year. I'm pretty happy with my season so far and I still have some opportunities to win this year. 
 

“Our team raced attentively all day long and because we were riding in the front part of the bunch all the time we didn’t get involved in any crashes. Vegard Breen protected us from the wind, in the finale we saw a strong Louis Vervaeke.

 

"I climb better and better. My condition remains good after the Tour. In the Tour of Britain I was a little less good but there was good weather. I am very proud of this victory, especially since it is a solo victory, my first since I joined the pros. In the youth ranks I managed it only twice, arriving alone feels really good.

 

"Jelle asked me to go on the attack in the final kilometer. 'Try it,' he said. 'Probably Jan Bakelants will jump on your wheel, but then I will immediately make an attack.' Luckily there was fortunately no one in my wheel and all was well in the Citadel of Namur, I thought I would have it harder. In the last 100 meters, I thought of Kris Boeckmans and that's why I made that B-gesture at the finish. I dedicate this victory to him.

 

"This is always my best time of the year, that gives me extra confidence and especially now with this new victory. In the next races I want to be good again. Friday I’ll race in Koolskamp, next week I will ride in Lichtervelde and then it’s the Eurométropole Tour.”

 

"I felt it coming that I would not be selected for Worlds. I am at peace with the selection. It is a strong team and guys like Maes and Keisse deserve to be there.They rode very strongly in the Vuelta. In the coming weeks I will ride in Koolskamp, ​​Lichtervelde, Franco-Belge (Tour de l'Euro,etropole), Paris-Tours and Putte-Kapellen. "

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