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"I am very proud that I could beat him here. He has long been an example for me. He is a rider who has great respect for his colleagues in the peloton and especially for his teammates."

Photo: Lotto Soudal


25.07.2016 @ 01:24 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Boris Vallee continued what has been a very successful first season at Fortuneo-Vital Concept when he claimed the biggest victory of his short career on stage 2 of the Tour de Wallonie. In the bunch sprint on the lumpy circuit in Le Roeulx, he beat Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) and Roman Maikin (Gazprom-Rusvelo) but second place was enough for Boonen to retain the lead.


We have gathered a few reactions.


Boris Vallee: I am proud to beat Boonen who has always been an example for me

"After my seventh place in the sprint yesterday, I really wanted to do well,” Vallee told Directvelo. “The team worked well for me. Today is the reward of two days. I'm happy to win my first race at a race of this level. I win here in Wallonia. That is even more special. To beat a great sprinter Tom Boonen is not nothing.


“It was very nervous in the last 200 meters. When Boonen went, I took his wheel. I knew I could go faster and I did not hesitate. It was a nervous sprint, but I remained calm. Despite a big crash I stuck to the wheel of Boonen. I am very proud that I could beat him here. He has long been an example for me. He is a rider who has great respect for his colleagues in the peloton and especially for his teammates.


“I remember my first year in the Color Code team when I was 18. I had trouble staying in the peloton. I was dropped two kilometers from the line. I always told myself that I will win a beautiful here.  I knew then that I would win a stage here. Today I even beat Tom Boonen


“I definitely want to savor my victory. It was one of the great objectives of my season. Hopefully the team can make the double withDan McLay at the Tour de France. " 


Tom Boonen: The crash destroyed my sprint

Tom Boonen came a close second, behind countryman Boris Vallée (Fortuneo-Vital Concept), and took some important bonus seconds which helped him stretch his lead in the general classification of the Tour de Wallonie, where the podium is rounded out by Sunday's winner and Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Katusha). Another Etixx – Quick-Step rider who sits nicely in the overall rankings, just 16 seconds adrift, is Matteo Trentin; the 27-year-old Italian – victorious in a Giro stage this season – is in the mix also in the points classification, which has the same Boonen at the top.


"When you try to win and you are second, you're obviously disappointed,” Boonen told Directvelo. “But I'm especially happy not to have been taken down in the crash. At the end of the day, I'm happy to have been there for the win.


“I did everything to win, but it was a bit of a mess in the finale. It was hard to stay in front. Those who fell were not as lucky as me.


”I know Boris Vallée, I know he is very strong. I launched my sprint a bit too early as I was the first rider who did not crash. My teammate Yves Lampaert narrowly avoided the crash. I said I would try. Boris was already in my wheel so I knew it would be difficult. This is how it i. You do not win every day. "

"I was hampered by a crash 150 meters from the finish line. I'm disappointed that I did not win, but I am pleased that I was able to sprint again. The important thing is that I have been able to avoid the crash. Many other riders have been less fortunate  


“I launched my sprint at 300 meters, but was then stopped by the crash. I tried to go for the victory, but knew then that it would be difficult.


”The collaboration with other teams went well. There were four teams to work.


"Now I will see stage by stage how it goes. Despite the heavy course I will do everything possible to retain the leader's jersey. "


More bonus second for Viacheslav Kuznetsov in Wallonia

KATUSHA’s Vladimir Isaychev took 8th place in the sprint at the finish of stage 2 of the 37th Tour de Wallonie, which was held today in Belgium.


Just before the finish line there was a big crash, which had a great impact on the stage result. Team KATUSHA did a strong race and Isaychev proved it with a nice result.


”Today the main goal was to support Viacheslav Kuznetsov and to help him to hold his place in general classification and, I think, we succeed. Supported by Maxim Belkov he was even able to take one more bonus second and now Viacheslav is still third in overall. I think this is a good result. In the final we provided a chance for Vladimir Isaychev to show himself and I think he did a good sprint. Inside the final km there was a big crash in the peloton, but hopefully nobody of Team KATUSHA was involved,” said sports director Gennady Mikhaylov.


In the general classification Tom Boonen still holds the yellow jersey. Today’s stage winner Boris Vallée is second, +0.06, Viacheslav Kuznetsov is third, 9 seconds behind. Kuznetsov holds the red jersey as intermediate sprint classification leader.


Young Belgian bounces back from illness in Wallonia

Ludovic Robeet was the most aggressive rider.


"One year ago, I was in my chair, waiting to find a solution to my health problems,” he told Directvelo. “It took me a while to get back. I'm glad to be back in front at this race.Tomorrow I intend to recover to get a result in the last two stages.


“I found good sensations on the bike. This pleases me. This bodes well for next year because this season I went through too many ups and downs. I never know how the sensations are as they vary all the time. Today, I told myself that I will try to go for the GPMs but Antoine [Warnier] beat me in most of them.


“It's good for the team to show that we're here. We want to be players in the Tour de Wallonie. "

Wallonie rider takes mountains jersey and targets GC in Wallonia

Antoine Warnier (Wallonie) took the mountains jersey from teammate Thomas Deruette.


"The objective of the team is to always be in front, no matter who,” he told Directvelo. “We try to go for it with Baptiste Planckaert.


“Tomorrow we will have the final indication for the overall winner. I hope it's me. We'll see how the legs recover. I used som energy today.


“In the end, we no longer believed in it. We knew that we would be caught on the climb of Strépy. I got five seconds of bonus, it will count in the final GC. I hope to exchange the jersey each day with Thomas Deruette. He can take it in Herstal and it's perfect. I can also think of the jersey for best young rider because Boris Vallée will not survive the climbs until the end of this race.


“I have had misfortune with falls in Croatia and Cholet. I have tendon problems. I took a long time to come back. I hope to get a good final result at this race. "

Bad luck for Crelan sprinters in Wallonia

Crelan had bad luck for sprinters Druyts Gerry and Tim Merlier in the second stage of the Tour of Wallonia. Less than a hundred meters from the finish line, they hit the deck


"In full final there was still a treacherous climb, but it as a little too far from the finish", said Wout van Aert. "So I have not taken any risk.”


In the sprint Tim Merlier was in the wheel of Gerry Druyts. But it went wrong. A fall in the second row caused a domino effect: ten to fifteen riders made it thorugh. Gerry Druyts wasone of the victims as was Merlier.


"It’s a pity," Merlier said as he walked across the finish line. "The last climb was not easy but when it made it over I had good legs for the sprint. 600 meters from the finish Gerry had me on his wheel. When he accelerated 250 meters from the finish, I tried to come out. But then it happened. How? What? No idea. I only know that there was a crash. It is a missed opportunity, but we must be glad that we have been spared from serious injuries. "


Enrico Gasparotto breaks collarbone in Walloie

Enrico Gasparotto fell in the last kilometer of the second stage of the Tour de Wallonie. The winner of the Amstel Gold Race was left a broken right clavicle and left hand. He was taken to hospital. 


Sporting director Jean-Marc Rossignon is naturally disappointed by the news. 


"Enrico Gasparotto was our leader for the Tour de Wallonie. It's obviously a big loss for us. We do have other riders for the general classification and stages like Dimitri Claeys, Gaetan Bille and Jérôme Baugnies.”



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