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Ronde van Limburg

Gerben Thijssen wins on home soil

On this Whit Monday, Gerben Thijssen added a new succes on Belgian soil for team Intermarché-Circus-Wanty by winning the Ronde van Limburg in an authoritarian sprint. The rider born in Genk won after 203 kilometer of racing between Hasselt and Tongeren, through his native region.

He rewarded the work of his teammates who controlled the race the whole day in the best way, first with Thijs Aerts and Kevin Kuhn behind the breakaway, and then during the three local laps containing the cobbled climbs Manshoven and Op de Kriezel. 

The 24 year old sprinter was launched by his sprint train composed of Roel van Sintmaardensdijk, Loïc Vliegen, Baptiste Planckaert and Boy van Poppel and perfectly went through the final corner to pass Tim Merlier and keep Caleb Ewan behind him, the two sprinters who defeated him in the Van Merksteijn Classic two days ago.

It is the third victory of the season for Thijssen, the winner of the Grand Prix Monseré and the Bredene-Koksijde Classic, and the eleventh for the team of Jean-François Bourlart, who recently celebrated the win of Mike Teunissen in the Tour of Norway.

« This victory is special. Winning the Ronde van Limburg, as a rider originating from this region, that was a dream for me. It is here that I grew up, that I trained hard for so many kilometres. Never before I received so many encouragements from the fans along the roads, it gave me an extra motivation. I'm really grateful for the incredible work of my teammates from the first to the last kilometer. It gave me goosebumps. I didn't have the best feeling today, but the adrenaline in the final transformed me to a confident sprinter. After the work from Thijs Aerts and Kevin Kuhn in front of the peloton, I was perfectly launched by Roel van Sintmaartensdijk, Loïc Vliegen, Baptiste Planckaert and Boy van Poppel. »

« Boy played once more a decisive role, with his motivating words and advice. He wanted me to take the final corner on the outside to not loose speed. When I saw Tim Merlier taking the inside, I knew that I had to launch my sprint without thinking. After my disappointment on Saturday, my fast sprint was rewarded with the victory today. I showed that I can also win in a pure power sprint, slightly uphill. It is the best reward for my teammates, together we form the best team in the world. It is my third victory of the season. I'm looking forward to many more sprint chances in June, with the Heistse Pijl, Elfstedenronde, Tour of Belgium and especially the national championships in which I want to be in the mix for the podium. »

General Classification


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