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“I just wasn’t good enough. When Vanendert and Bakelants attacked, Pinot let a gap and I couldn’t bridge across. At the foot of the Citadelle we returned but I didn’t have the strength today.”

Photo: Vacansoleil-DCM






17.09.2014 @ 21:20 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Bjorn Leukemans was one of the favourites for the GP de Wallonie but the Wanty captain could only manage 15th in the uphill sprint. The Belgian was disappointed after a day with bad legs.


On Wednesday Wanty-Groupe Gobert rode the GP Wallonie. This UCI 1.1 race with start in Chaudfontaine and finish on the famous Citadelle de Namur was won by BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet. Björn Leukemans was the team’s top finisher in 15th place.


“The day started well for the team because we had one rider in the breakaway,” sports director Sébastien Demarbaix explains. “With Thomas Degand however it might not have been the right rider because we could have used him in the final with Leukemans.”


The breakaway was caught at 55 kilometres from the line and the race started again.


“A crash changed a lot for us,” Francis de Greef says. “Me and Jempy Drucker were the only ones to initially stay with Björn but when the final started, a group of four strong riders attacked. I did some chasing in the breakaway but had already done quite an effort before to come back after the crash.”


The four leaders were Greg van Avermaet, Fränk Schleck, Jelle Vanendert and last year’s winner Jan Bakelants. They worked well together but at the foot of the Citadelle the group with Leukemans came back. Van Avermaet was too strong and attacked in the final kilometre to win the race. Leukemans came in 15th.


“I didn’t have good legs today," Leukemans said disappointed. “I just wasn’t good enough. When Vanendert and Bakelants attacked, Pinot let a gap and I couldn’t bridge across. At the foot of the Citadelle we returned but I didn’t have the strength today.”


“We bet a lot on “Leuki’ today. Björn likes this race and finished on the podium three times before but he didn’t have a super day,” Demarbaix concludes. “ We lost Jempy and Laurens [De Vreese] after a crash. Thomas had already done a lot of work in the break. But we have to be realistic too. On the Citadelle it’s down to strength and Björn didn’t have that super day.”



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