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"The perfect scenario would have been that Stybar was not here but he was very strong. It was hard to stay ahead because the wind was from the front."

Photo: RCS Sport






30.07.2014 @ 20:04 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tim Wellens and Lotto Belisol animated the queen stage of the Tour de Wallonie as the team desperately tried to make it hard for race leader Gianni Meersman. The young Belgian escaped on his own in the finale and held off the peloton for 15km but ultimately left the race empty-handed.


The Tour de Wallonie finished today with a stage from Malmedy to Ans with in the final three hills of Liège-Bastogne-Liège: Côte de la Roche aux Faucons, Côte de Saint-Nicolas and Côte d’Ans. A break of seven was caught with 35 kilometers to go. Lotto Belisol was positioned at the front to start the climb of La Roche aux Faucons. Tim Wellens attacked and got company of among other Zdenek Stybar. The peloton could come back. Wellens tried a second time and he had an advantage up to 28 seconds, but on the Côte d’Ans he was reeled in. Gianni Meersman sprinted to the victory and is the overall winner. Pim Ligthart is the first Lotto Belisol rider in GC, ninth at 41 seconds.


"It was the plan that I should attack, otherwise it was impossible to win," he told Directvelo. "The perfect scenario would have been that Stybar was not here but he was very strong. It was hard to stay ahead because the wind was from the front. 


"At the foot of Saint-Nicolas, my rear wheel went into a hole and I had a gear problem but I managed to solve it. I could not have done anything more. I was already on my limit and if I had tried to follow the next attacks, I would have cracked. I saved a little for the Clasica San Sebastian. 


"I'm pretty disappointed. I rode well but I have no result in the end. I'm happy because I have good legs before San Sebastian. Here I must ride smarter. I hope to get a result. Tony Gallopin will be there to defend his title. I hope he can win and I can be in contention for the places of honor. After that, I'll be at the Eneco Tour. My next big goals are the two WorldTour races in Canada. 

“Today we played all or nothing for GC and if it was possible we would obviously go for the stage win as well," sports director Bart Leysen said. "The riders did what was asked of them and started La Roche aux Faucons at the front of the bunch. It was the intention to take off with a small group. That didn’t work out.


"Tim Wellens attacked again, it was a strong effort. On the Côte d’Ans, the last climb of the day, there was headwind. That was too much for him. Because Tim was out alone, the other guys weren’t free to move. In the sprint we wanted to go for Tosh Van der Sande, but he got caught in a crash. Apart from abrasions he’s fine.
“Tim has proven his condition is more than fine after a period of rest. He made a strong impression uphill. Jelle Vanendert is growing towards his level of the classics. Maxime Monfort, who is back after an injury, got better each day.


"The whole team performed well, that’s positive with what has to come in the next months. We won the opening stage with Jens Debusschere. Unfortunately there was a lack of teams that made the race hard like us.”



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