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GP Le Samyn

Vliegen 5th in GP Le Samyn

The most Flemish of the Walloon classics, the GP Samyn (1.1, 01/03), lead the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in the province of Hainaut on Tuesday, where a 204-kilometre course through the Borinage ended in four laps of the local circuit, each featuring the cobbled sections of the Côte de la Roquette, the Chemin de Wihéries, the Côte des Nonettes and finally that of the rue de Belle Vue.

Strong in numbers at the entrance of the local circuits, the Belgian World Team had first made it possible to bring back the morning breakaway of six riders around 50 kilometers from the finish. Then, through Loïc Vliegen, Aimé De Gendt and Baptiste Planckaert, responded to the accelerations of the counter-attackers and eventually accompanied a group of 20 riders who set off on the penultimate passage of the Côte de la Roquette.

Loïc Vliegen, armed with determination, followed the multiple accelerations which ended up reducing the leading group to eight riders in the last 15 kilometers. Holding the peloton at bay until the end despite a 30-second lead, the front group sprinted to victory in Dour, and Vliegen secured fifth place. Andrea Pasqualon, who came third in the peloton, finished in eleventh place.

« We were prepared for an open race so I raced attentively in the front on the local laps. We knew that we had to pay attention to attacks of teams without sprinter and it is with this strategy that I managed to be in the lead of the race. With one lap to go we were only eight men left in the front and I was hoping to finish on the podium, even though several fast riders were present in the group. It was maybe possible to achieve this result if I would have launched my sprint earlier and didn’t give Trentin a chance to close the door. What I remember from this day is that I sprinted for the victory again after a very long time. »

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