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" I tried everything today, but there was nothing to do against Alexis Gougeard. At first I took bonus seconds. Then I realized that it was becoming difficult when Alexis continued his efforts in the second intermediate...

Photo: Lotto Soudal






04.10.2015 @ 21:59 Posted by Andy Pedersen

After five days of racing on Walloon and Flemish roads, the Eurométropole Tour has finished. The prologue was won by Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale) and he didn’t give away his lead agan.


On Wednesday, the riders started this stage race with a prologue which finished on top of the Mont-Saint-Aubert. Gougeard won with an advantage of three seconds on Martijn Keizer (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) and twelve seconds on Matthias Brändle (IAM Cycling). Jürgen Roelandts was ninth at twenty seconds, Sean De Bie was twelfth and Jens Debusschere eighteenth.


On Thursday, Jens Debusschere showed that he is in good shape with a sprint victory. On Friday, the stage also ended up in a bunch sprint finish. It was Jonas Van Genechten (IAM Cycling) who won in front of Jürgen Roelandts, who became leader in the points classification. In stage three, Edward Theuns (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) took the win, while Jürgen Roelandts was again the first Lotto Soudal rider. In the general classification he moved up to the third place, thanks to some bonus seconds earned in the intermediate sprints.


In the last stage with finish in Tournai, Jürgen Roelandts did everything he could to take the overall lead. Once again, he took some bonus seconds on top of the Croix du Jubaru and came a bit closer to Gougeard. However, the Frenchmen wouldn’t let go that easy and secured his overall win when he also sprinted for the bonification seconds. Lotto Soudal realized that the overall win was unattainable and focused on the stage win. Jens Debusschere was the last man for Jürgen Roelandts, who started his sprint at 150 meters from the finish line. Roelandts finished fourth and Debusschere seventh. The stage win was for Jonas Ahlstrand (Cofidis).


" I tried everything today, but there was nothing to do against Alexis Gougeard. At first I took bonus seconds. Then I realized that it was becoming difficult when Alexis continued his efforts in the second intermediate sprint," Roelandts told Directvelo.


"I want to thank the entire team for the support throughout the week. In the sprint, the team played my card. Jens Debusschere tried to lead me put but he missed the forces that he had used during the stage. The final balance of the team is still positive: a stage and a final podium. We got what we wanted originally."


“Before this stage, we know we had to win the intermediate sprints if we wanted to win the GC. The bonification seconds were put on top of the last three climbs. The first intermediate sprint went good. Jürgen won ahead of a surprisingly strong Gougeard. The second sprint was won by Gougeard in front of Jürgen, which meant that the overall victory was out of sight. In that moment, we decided to focus on the stage win. Jens Debusschere did a great lead-out, but Jürgen didn’t have the legs anymore. He finished fourth in the stage and third in the general classification. We are happy that he could secure his points jersey,” Sports director Marc Wauters said.  


In the general classification nothing changed. The overall win in this Tour de l’Eurométropole is for Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondial). Martijn Keizer (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) finished second and Jürgen Roelandts (Lotto Soudal) third.



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