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“I was looking forward to this stage in particular because it ended on a climb. I like this kind of finish. This is my first victory as a professional,” Lietaer says

Photo: Sirotti




08.06.2014 @ 10:58 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Eliot Lietaer (Topsport Vlaanderen) took his first professional victory when he emerged as the strongest on the final climb to the finish in yesterday’s queen stage of the Boucles de la Mayenne. Having targeted the Ardennes classics earlier in the season and now won a stage that finished on a short, steep climb, the young Belgian marks himself out as a talent for the hilly one-day races.


Topsport Vlaanderen have had a fantastic 2014 season where they have taken several wins in some of the big French races. Yesterday they added another victory to their palmares when they took a 1-2 in the Boucles de la Mayenne queen stage.


The team is mainly composed of young, talented Belgians and again it was an emerging talent that stole the spotlight for the team. Eliot Lietaer proved that he has a great future in hilly races when he attacked in anticipation of the final climb to the finish and held off his former breakaway companions that were led home by his teammate Tom Van Asbroeck.


Earlier in the stage, Lietaer had laid the foundations for his win by bridging across to an earlier escape and as more rider bridged across, a 7-rider group was finally formed. With several riders having a keen GC interest the group stayed away and then it was just a matter of the Topsport duo of Lietaer and Van Asbroeck to decide the tactics.


"The final climb was very hard, but I felt good,” Lietaer told Directvelo. “I attacked 70 kilometers from the finish. I gave my all and seven riders joined me, including two riders from Bretagne Seché Environnement and Johan Le Bon from FDJ. 


“In the end, we ended up with two from the Topsport team with Tom Van Asbroeck. We talked together and he told me he felt good, but I felt good too. So we decided that I would attack while he would do the sprint. 


“I felt really good so I tried my luck 5 kilometers from the finish. In the end we made a 1-2.”


Lietaer has often been in the mix but until yesterday the victory has eluded him. The win is a sign of his progress and he is now looking forward to chasing more success in his upcoming races.


“This is really great,” he said. “It's been a while since I felt so good. This was already the case at the Tour of Norway. Then I worked hard last week. I was looking forward to this stage in particular because it ended on a climb. I like this kind of finish. This is my first victory as a professional. 


“This year, my first goal was the Ardennes classics. It went well, but they are very difficult races for young riders. I also like the stage races that are a few days long. I was keen to win a first victory this year. 


“Now I'll do the Grand Prix Gippingen and the Tour of Slovenia. Then there will be the Belgian championships, but the course is flat. I will work for our sprinters, Tom Van Asbroeck and Michael Van Staeyen.”


Stephane Rossetto took the leader’s jersey ahead of today’s final stage of the race.



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