CyclingQuotes.com uses cookies for statistics and targeting ads. This information is shared with third parties.
ACCEPT COOKIES » MORE INFO »

Every day we bring you more pro-cycling news

Gilbert emerges as the strongest in the uphill sprint to La Gileppe in the Ardennes and puts 3 seconds into Wellens and 6 into Martens to take both the stage win and the yellow jersey

Photo: Sirotti

BMC RACING TEAM

TEAM PROFILE
|
NEWS

PAUL MARTENS

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS

PHILIPPE GILBERT

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS

STER ZLM TOUR

RACE PROFILE
|
NEWS

TIM WELLENS

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS
21.06.2014 @ 18:14 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) put himself in a fantastic position to win the Ster ZLM Toer for the third time in his career when he won today’s queen stage in his preferred terrain in the Belgian Ardennes. Having used his team to animate the stage all day, he was clearly the strongest in the uphill sprint in La Gileppe, putting 3 seconds into Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol) and 6 seconds into Paul Martens (Belkin) to take the leader’s jersey off Marcel Kittel’s shoulders.

 

Three days ago Philippe Gilbert proved that he is in excellent condition ahead of the Belgian championships when he won the prologue in the Ster ZLM Toer. When he lost the leader’s jersey to Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) one day later, he claimed to be unconcerned as he expected to take it back in today’s queen stage in the Belgian Ardennes.

 

Gilbert lived up to his promises as he was in a class of his own when it all came down to an uphill sprint in La Gileppe at the end of a hard ride on his Wallonian home soil. All day his BMC team had tried to make things as hard as possible on the many climbs that included well-known ascents like Cote de la Redoute and Col du Rosier and later in the stage they had sent Ben Herman off in an attack to force the others on the defensive.

 

The plan was always to set Gilbert up for the uphill sprint which suited him perfectly and when a late 4-rider break had been brought back, it turned out just as BMC had planned. Gilbert paid back his teammates for their hard work by launching one of his trademark accelerations and no one could keep his wheel.

 

His young compatriot Tim Wellens got closest but at the line, the Lotto rider had lost 3 seconds. 3 second further adrift, Paul Martens took third while Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) led a small group to the finish with a time loss of 10 seconds.

 

The stage was held on a 186.7km route from Hotel Verviers to La Gileppe and was a very hilly run through the Ardennes. The first part contained several climbs, including the Col du Rosier and the Cote de la Redoute, and it all came to an end with two laps of a hard finishing circuit that included a short climb to the line.

 

Early in the stage, Huub Dijn (De Rijke), Wout van Aert (Vastgoedservice), Michael Vanthourenhout (Sunweb) and Quinten Hermans (Telenet) escaped and they were joined by Nicola Testi (Androni), Timo Roosen (Rabobank) and Dries Hollanders (Metec) to form a 7-rider front group. Ronan van Zandbeek (De Rijke) also tried to make it across but never made the junction.

 

While Hollanders picked up a lot of KOM points and Roosen sprint points, the gap went up to 3.25 before BMC took over the pace-setting. On the Col de Rosier, they dropped the hammer and at the top, the advantage was only 1.20.

 

BMC again slowed down a bit and at the bottom of the Redoute, the advantage was again 2.35. This time BMC used a different tactic as they launched Herman off in an attack and after a long chase he made the junction to make it 8 riders in the break.

 

OPQS had taken control of the peloton that was now 2.25 behind but as they approached the next climb, they brought it down to 1.30. On the slopes, the front group exploded and at the top, only van Aert, Hermans, Hermans and Vanthourenhout were still left.

 

The peloton had split to pieces and race leader Marcel Kittel had come into difficult on the ascent. Behind  the leaders, a group with Martens, Meersman, Petr Vakoc, Gilbert, Samuel Sanchez, Wellens, Testi, Bjorn Leukemans, Rob Ruijgh, Roosen and Hollanders had formed but that group was caught a little later.

 

Kittel was now back in contention and with 35km to go, the four leaders were caught. This was the signal for Stijn Steels (Topsport) to launch an attack and he managed to build a 35-second advantage. Lars Bak (Lotto Belisol), Julien Vermote (OPQS) and Jarno Gmelich Meijling (Metec) bridged the gap and now it was a fierce pursuit between the peloton – led by BMC – and the front quartet.

 

They managed to build a 45-second advantage but as BMC upped the pace, they started to lose ground. With the gap down to 25 seconds, Steels fell off the pace while Kittel got dropped from the peloton. In the end, BMC managed to bring it back together for a sprint where Gilbert emerged as the strongest.

 

Gilbert now takes a 12-second advantage over Wellens into tomorrow’s final stage which is almost completely flat and should suit the sprinters. Only disaster can prevent Gilbert from winning the Ster ZLM Toer for the third time in his career.

RELATED NEWS:

Van Avermaet: 400 watts were not enough »

Wyss benefits from Albasini's crash in Switzerland »

Wyss beats IAM climbers in Switzerland »

Stetina looking to return at end of season »

van Garderen targets Tour podium »

MORE NEWS:

VIEW SELECTED

New French champion Tronet ready to join professional team 29.06.2015 @ 23:24Gallopin confident for the Tour after second place at N... 29.06.2015 @ 23:15Bakelants rues mistakes at Belgian championships 29.06.2015 @ 23:07Boonen misses out on another Belgian road race title 29.06.2015 @ 23:01Tour de France route analysis 29.06.2015 @ 23:00Van Avermaet: 400 watts were not enough 29.06.2015 @ 22:54Van Hecke: This will change my life 29.06.2015 @ 18:13Fantastic team to support Contador in the Tour de France 29.06.2015 @ 18:09Froome backed by excellent team at the Tour de France 29.06.2015 @ 18:06Quintana and Valverde lead formidable Movistar Tour team 29.06.2015 @ 18:05Cannondale-Garmin with three leaders in the Tour de France 29.06.2015 @ 18:04Nibali to be backed by great team at the Tour de France 29.06.2015 @ 18:04Cofidis confirm Bouhanni and finalize Tour selection 29.06.2015 @ 18:03Costa leads Lampre-Merida in the Tour de France 29.06.2015 @ 18:00Bakelants and Riblon complete Ag2r Tour de France roster 29.06.2015 @ 17:59Bretagne finalize Tour de France roster 29.06.2015 @ 17:58Rolland, Voeckler and Coquard lead Europcar in the Tour... 29.06.2015 @ 17:52AG2R replace Gretsch by Gaudin in Tour de France team 29.06.2015 @ 17:12Contador focused on recovery ahead of Grand Départ 29.06.2015 @ 17:00Tronet: I have been telling myself it’s possible 29.06.2015 @ 16:17Bora-Argon 18 celebrate fantastic Nationals campaign 29.06.2015 @ 16:16London bid for 2017 TDF Grand Départ 29.06.2015 @ 16:15Buchmann: Now I can no longer hide in the peloton 29.06.2015 @ 16:08Kennaugh: Cavendish was incredibly strong 29.06.2015 @ 15:59Frustrated Hofland misses out on Dutch road race title 29.06.2015 @ 15:56Roelandts: This is the biggest disappointment of my career 29.06.2015 @ 15:53Cavendish: This shows that I am ready for the Tour 29.06.2015 @ 15:46Golas: I would have loved to wear the jersey at the Tour 29.06.2015 @ 15:45Vakoc: I beat the big guys 29.06.2015 @ 15:43Terpstra: I thought I would finish second again 29.06.2015 @ 15:40CCC Sprandi come up short on home soil 29.06.2015 @ 15:37Ag2r climbers lose out in French road race 29.06.2015 @ 15:32Barbero: Everybody knows how good Valverde is 29.06.2015 @ 15:28Sagan: It's a shame that Kreuziger and I couldn�... 29.06.2015 @ 15:26Chavanel: Bouhanni had deserved to win 29.06.2015 @ 15:24Sørensen: It has been an uphill battle 29.06.2015 @ 15:21Eritrea gives green light for Tour de France team 29.06.2015 @ 15:21IAM come up short on home soil 29.06.2015 @ 15:19Boasson Hagen: I didn't believe I would win 29.06.2015 @ 15:15Mortensen hugely disappointed to miss out in Denmark 29.06.2015 @ 15:10Wyss benefits from Albasini's crash in Switzerland 29.06.2015 @ 15:08Trofimov: This is one of the most important wins of my... 29.06.2015 @ 15:05Jungels: Everbody expected me to win 29.06.2015 @ 15:02Machado lamets lack of sprinting skills 29.06.2015 @ 15:00Valverde: I think I am in really good form 29.06.2015 @ 14:56Haller: Katusha can count on me in France 29.06.2015 @ 14:53Berhane wins Eritrean road race title 29.06.2015 @ 14:27New Belarusian champion sacked immediately after win 29.06.2015 @ 14:12Joeaar beats Taaramae at Estonian road race championships 29.06.2015 @ 14:04Astana beaten by Vino4Ever in Kazakh road race 29.06.2015 @ 13:57Saramotins takes seventh Latvian road race title 29.06.2015 @ 13:49Injured Bouhanni still hopeful of Tour de France start 29.06.2015 @ 13:33Kruopis beats Navardauskas in Lithuania 29.06.2015 @ 03:39Kononenko takes Ukrainian road race title 29.06.2015 @ 03:24Shaw takes surprise win in Irish road race 29.06.2015 @ 03:17

Mascha PIJNENBORG
34 years | today
Robin JOSE
25 years | today
Manuela SONZOGNI
30 years | today
Fabian RINCON
34 years | today
Daniela CAPITANIO
34 years | today
ALL BIRTHDAYS

© CyclingQuotes.com 2013