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"Now already I can tell you that Liège-Bastogne-Liège will be one of my goals next year. But first Florence. I will attack there too, I hope. Philippe Gilbert will be the team leader and I will work for him with pleasure...

Photo: Sirotti




18.09.2013 @ 20:17 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

After 203 kilometres between Chaudfontaine and Namur, Bakelants (RadioShack-Leopard) was faster than Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) on the Namur Citadel. Bakelants started the race for the Belgian national team.


Bakelants participated in this race as preparation for the World Championships in Florence. Since RadioShack- Leopard did not have this race on their program, Bakelants was allowed to start with the team of national coach Carlo Bomans and he did not disappoint.


“I knew that I would be good here,” explained Bakelants. “Two weeks after my altitude training camp in Italy I expected to perform well in this region. Moreover, in my U23 years I won a lot of races here. Now already I can tell you that Liège-Bastogne-Liège will be one of my goals next year. But first Florence. I will attack there too, I hope. Philippe Gilbert will be the team leader and I will work for him with pleasure but I also hope to get some freedom myself.”


Bakelants attacked on the Côte de Lustin, 24 km from the finish. Mathias Frank (BMC Racing Team) followed and Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) joined the two a bit later.


“If I wanted to win, I had to improvise,” continued Bakelants. “I knew that guys like Philippe Gilbert or Greg Van Avermaet would be hard to beat in the sprint. That’s why I attacked earlier. Because of the bad weather I knew that the peloton would not go faster than the break in that rain. With a gap of 45 seconds at 6km from the end I knew I could win. I had no problems to counter the attack of Voeckler on the uphill climb of 3 kilometres. I felt good in the rain and saw that Voeckler did not dare to take risks in the corners. In the last corner, I definitely took more risks than the Frenchman. It gave me the victory.”


For Bakelants it is his fourth victory of the season. In July he won the second stage in the Tour de France and wore the yellow jersey for two days.



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