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"After the Dutch championships, I took a break for several days while I was on vacation in the Pyrenees in France. I also trained and apparently it paid off because today I won this stage."

Photo: Sirotti






25.07.2015 @ 19:07 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Etixx - Quick-Step rider Niki Terpstra did what he loves to do most with about 24km remaining in 190.7km Stage 1 of Tour de Wallonie on Saturday: Attack. He went away from a 13-rider escape group — down from an original selection of 14 — along with Victor Campenaerts (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise). The duo maintained their advantage all the way until the finish line of the opening stage.


Terpstra launched with 200m to go and won over Campenaerts for the first time in his 2015 Dutch Road Champion jersey. Terpstra won by four seconds. The two riders had more than a 44" advantage inside 4km to go. Yauheni Hutarovich (Bretagne-Séché) finished 3rd, 21" behind the lead duo.


Terpstra's victory is his 5th of the 2015 season, and the 38th on the road for Etixx - Quick-Step.


Terpstra will protect his race leadership on Sunday for Stage 2, 181.4km from Beaufays to Bassenge. There are nine climbs and a local circuit of 30 kilometers. The final climb is at kilometer 166 of the stage. The profile features steeper climbs in comparison to Stage 1, but the finale is flatter than the other moments of the stage.


"For the entire day it was bad weather, rain and plenty of wind," Terpstra said. "We started with an uphill and then there was the typical false flat roads in Wallonie. At that point of the parcours we went away with 14 riders, including my teammate Martin Velits. Martin did a great job keeping the speed high in the breakaway. We had good collaboration in the group, unlike the peloton which was disorganized.


"When I saw that our lead was more than three minutes, I realized there was a way get the stage win and take an advantage on the general classification. At about 24 kilometers to go, on a slight uphill, I attacked and Campenaerts followed. We went up the road together and in the end I won. 


"I was better than him tactically and I could win this first stage. I also want to emphasize the excellent performance of Victor Campenaerts, I did not know him. He is a very good rider. He really made ​​me strong impression. Congratulations to him.


"After the Dutch championships, I took a break for several days while I was on vacation in the Pyrenees in France. I also trained and apparently it paid off because today I won this stage.


"It's really nice to win for the first time in this Dutch Champion Jersey, and to open Tour de Wallonie with a victory. It's a good start for the GC, but we will see day-by-day what we can do with the overall. At the moment we will enjoy this victory, and starting tomorrow we will see what can happen."



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