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Belgium Tour

IWG on the podium of the stage and the final classification

The Tour of Belgium was concluded with a royal sprint in the streets of Beringen, in the Limburg region, this Sunday. Team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux was active all week and was rewarded by a stage podium and two riders in the top four of the final classification.

Gerben Thijssen, the protected rider for the sprint and local rider, finished third in this fifth and last stage after finding his way in between his competitors in the final 100 meter. It is the sixth podium of the season for the Belgian sprinter, who will celebrate his 24th birthday next Tuesday.

Yesterday’s queen stage winner, Quinten Hermans, finished third in the final classification ahead of his teammate Lorenzo Rota (4th). Loïc Vliegen is sixteenth. The World Team concludes its national tour in the lead of the team classification.

« Closing the eight second gap with the race leader with bonus seconds was not a realistic scenario, so together with the sports directors we decided that I would devote my efforts fully to Gerben Thijssen in this final stage. One day after the impressive collective performance, I was very motivated to work for our young sprinter. Battling with the robust riders of the sprint trains of other teams is not easy for a rider of 60 kilogram like me. The third place of Gerben makes me a proud teammate. I feel fulfilled at the end of this week thanks to my stage win and the 3rd and 4th place of myself and Lorenzo in the final classification. »

« I wanted to show what I'm capable of in the sprint today, especially after my disappointing tenth place in Knokke-Heist. It was a weird race today, because of the several different goals of the other teams. In the end, the race ended in a bunch sprint and once more I could benefit from fantastic preparing work of my teammates. We determined the corner with 2 kilometer to go as an important point, because of the headwind afterwards. Loïc Vliegen, Quinten Hermans and Boy van Poppel brought me to the front at the right moment, enabling me to sprint for the stage victory against some of the best sprinters in the world. In hindsight, I should have been more daring on the last roundabout to start my sprint in a better position, but this third place makes me confident that in the future I'll be able to rival with these top sprinters. I'm very happy with this confirmation ahead of the Belgian championships! »


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