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The Eurométropole Tour ended with a thriller today. Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Belisol) finished in the same time as John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano), but is the overall winner and so the successor of Jürgen Roelandts. 

Photo: Vincent Calu/Photonews






06.10.2013 @ 18:36 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Debusschere had begun the final stage, from Mons to Tournai (153.8 km), with an advantage of three seconds on Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Michael Mørkøv. A break of five was reeled in on the local circuit at about 55 kilometres from the end. In those seven local laps of 14.7 km the riders had to cover the Croix Jubaru. On the last three ascents there was a rush each time at the top where time bonuses of three, two or one second were up for grabs. They turned out to be crucial for the general classification.


John Degenkolb won the first rush and stood then four seconds behind Jens Debusschere in the virtual GC. Debusschere was too far back to get any bonus seconds. Then four riders got ahead, including Mørkøv. Jürgen Roelandts was in a chase group together with Degenkolb. The bunch could close the gap pretty fast. The next two times it were escapees, not dangerous for GC, who took the seconds at the rushes. For the fourth time in a row the stage ended with a bunch sprint. John Degenkolb won and thus repeated his stage two win. Jens Debusschere ended up on the second place. Degenkolb won ten seconds at the finish and Debusschere six, so the German had the same time. The addition of all places counts for the overall victory then and thanks to the win in the opening stage and the third spot a day later Jens Debusschere became the winner.


“It was close today. I actually had my best day of the week. In the run-up to the first rush I was riding in the wheel of Mørkøv, I thought he would be my biggest opponent on that climb. But about 300 meters from the top he went aside and that way a gap was formed and Degenkolb was away. Then I told my teammates I’d go full for the sprint at the finish because I felt I could win,” Debusschere explained.


“In the last turn I lost Sieberg and Roelandts and came in the wheel of Degenkolb, which was perfect. That’s why Sibi and Jürgen pulled at the front, so I could stay in that position. The sprint was ridden with some headwind and I waited a bit too long to take off. Because of the addition of all the results I still won the jersey. This is great. The victory in Koolskamp, the opening stage and overall victory in the Eurométropole Tour feel like my breakthrough.”


“This is a victory for the team. Without a team you can’t win, especially in the bunch sprints you need a train. Every one of us was motivated to keep the jersey. Already from the youth categories I can keep my motivation till the end of the season. This definitely gives me a boost to do even better next year.”



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