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Zdenek Stybar (OPQS) completed his comeback from a serious crash in the Eneco Tour to win Binche-Chimay-Binche today. He attacked late and held off the bunch sprint, which was won by Degenkolb ahead of Debusschere.

Photo: Sirotti










07.10.2014 @ 18:57 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Zdenek Stybar (OPQS) completed his comeback from a serious crash in the Eneco Tour to win Binche-Chimay-Binche today. He attacked late and held off the bunch sprint, which was won by John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) ahead of Lotto’s Jens Debusschere.


The riders set off in Binche under cloudy conditions with high chances of crosswinds out on the course. And sure enough, this proved to be the case as soon as live TV coverage was broadcast, there were three groups on the road at 91km to go.


Group one contained Hugo Houle (AG2R), Jetse Bol of Belkin, Stijn Vandenbergh of OPQS, Dylan Teuns of BMC, Thomas De Gendt and Martin Velits also of OPQS, Kevin Reza of Europcar, Nikias Arndt of Giant-Shimano, Pierre Luc Perrichon of Bretagne Seche and Rob Ruijgh of Vastgoedservice.


There was another big group at 56 seconds and the peloton was at 1’36 to the group of 10 up the road.


For a long time the gaps held as rain began to descend, but the sheer size of group two meant that several leading riders sat up to wait for them, leaving just De Gendt, Arndt, Ruijgh and Velits and the four had a gap of 1’05 on the second group, making the other 6 men from the lead group’s decision to sit up look foolish at the moment.


However, Arndt suffered a puncture with 65km to go as Lotto Belisol came to the head of the second chase group, which contained about 50 riders. Lotto’s pace was fast and this led to the group of 6 being absorbed with a little over 60km to go.


As the peloton moved to within 45 seconds between themselves and the now three man break, a few moves went off the front but were brought back before they could get a gap until Lotto’s Belgian champion Jens Debusschere attacked from the field. BMC’s young stagiare Loic Vliegen bridged up to him to make a strong duo.


But their effort was in vain as they were soon brought back and the trio up front suffered the same fate soon after as with 48km, the race was all back together. Or so the peloton thought as Thomas De Gendt decided to push on and held a gap of 12 seconds for a few more kilometres.


More moves went off the front containing several riders and the biggest name involved was Debusschere, who was becoming more and more aggressive as the race went on.


De Gendt was eventually recaptured with 41km to go and a new move of six riders went again, miraculously including De Gendt again, joined by future teammate Tiesj Benoot of Lotto, Topsport’s Kenneth Vanbilsen, Cofidis’s Florian Senechal, Pardini and Carnevali of Verandas Willems. 


They gained a gap of 45 seconds and with 25km to go, they had extended the gap to almost a minute. They were aided by the fact that there was no cohesion in the bunch and there was no one team chasing the break and as a consequence, plenty of attacks went but were brought back.


BMC decided to chase and heading into the final 14km, they made an inroad into the break’s gap, reducing it to just 20 seconds. The group ahead shattered as the gap declined and with only ahandful of seconds going into the final 7km, De Gendt, Vanbilsen and Benoot were joined by the first successful attack from the peloton, OPQS Paris-Roubaix winner Niki Terpstra. Giant-Shimano was now forced to chase at the first of the bunch.


De Gendt sat up with 6km to go and the rest of the bunch was swallowed up just under 6km to go. Giant kept up their high pace heading into the final 3km and BMC sent Teuns to the front to help them with the task of preventing attacks.


Koen De Kort took up the leadout duties for Degenkolb with 1.5km to go as Terpstra and Stybar performed a two up attack and just under the flame rouge, Stybar dropped his teammate as Degenkolb chased him.


But Stybar had plenty in the tank and held off Degenkolb, Debusschere and Van Avermaet by 2 seconds.




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