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"It's really amazing to have such a train, I must admit. This train is usually for André Greipel. It is truly the first time that I can have a train exclusively for me for several consecutive days."

Photo: Sirotti

JENS DEBUSSCHERE

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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TOUR DE L'EUROMÉTROPOLE

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01.10.2015 @ 22:35 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Jens Debusschere has won the first stage of the Tour de l’Eurométropole (UCI 2.1). The stage started in La Louvière and finished after 164 kilometres in Chièvres. In the bunch sprint, Debusschere was faster than Raymond Kreder (Team Roompot) and Timothy Dupont (Roubaix-Lille Métropole).

 

After fifteen kilometres an early break of six riders went. Simone Antonini (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Christophe Prémont (Verandas Willems), Alexander Geuens (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace), Thomas Wertz (Wallonie-Bruxelles), Jayde Julius (MTN-Qhubeka) and Arthur Vanoverberghe (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) managed to get a maximum lead of 4’30”. Christophe Prémont won all the GPM’s and  starts in the mountain jersey tomorrow.

 

With only thirty kilometres left, the breakaway was caught. Quickly, eight riders took off: Olivier Le Gac (FDJ), Pim Ligthart (Lotto-Soudal), Ludwig De Winter (Wallonie-Bruxelles), Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Kevin Van Melsen (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Giuseppe Fonzi (Southeast), Jan Dieteren (Leopard Development Team) and Emiel Wastyn (Verandas Willems). They didn’t get more than 25” from the peloton. Five of the eight attackers didn’t want to settle with a bunch sprint and attacked again. Le Gac, Ligthart, Wallays, Van Melsen and Wastyn got caught with only five kilometres to go.

 

In the bunch sprint, Jens Debusschere showed his fast legs and won in front of Raymond Kreder and Timothy Dupont. Jürgen Roelandts became fifth. This victory is his fourth win of the season, after he already won a stage in the Tirreno-Adriatico, GP Wallonie and Omloop van het Houtland. Also this win is the 40th UCI win for Lotto Soudal this season. In the general classification Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondial) keeps his yellow jersey.

 

“Today was an easy day. The breakaway went early and afterwards the team of the leader controlled the race. Only in the last lap we had to work. At one and a half kilometres to go, I still had four teammates in front of me. Sean De Bie, Tosh Van de Sande, Kenny Dehaes and Jürgen Roelandts put me in a perfect position to do my sprint. The tempo that they rode was so high that nobody else could pass us. Jürgen started his lead-out on the right moment and I just had to time my sprint. This was just a perfect lead-out!” Jens Debusschere said.

 

"It's really amazing to have such a train, I must admit. This train is usually for André Greipel. It is truly the first time that I can have a train exclusively for me for several consecutive days. My train composed of Sean De Bie, Tosh Van der Sande, Jurgen Roelandts and Kenny Dehaes brought me perfectly up to 200 -250 meters from the line at breakneck speed. I realized that I had little chance of failing. I was able to complete the work of my teammates. 

 

"I gained ten seconds on Alexis Gougeard. I have not forgotten the overall standings, but I would have to win two further stages to be able to threaten him. This will not be easy.

 

“My prologue wasn’t that bad, but also not super good. A better result wasn’t possible. I did my very best and couldn’t go faster. But the overall feeling in the prologue was good.

 

"Tomorrow will be the second decisive day for the general classification. If there is as much wind as today, they will definitely  race. I know the climbs in the local lap well. Occasionally, I ride those hills in training. A top 10 in the general classification is still possible. Both Jürgen, Sean and myself are still close in the GC. We will wait and see how the race goes.”

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