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Tour de France

A third prestigious podium to conclude the Tour

The fifth Tour de France of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux was concluded this Sunday with a prestigious podium on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées

For the 21st and last stage of this 109th édition, the Walloon World Team mobilized its sprint train for Norwegian rider Alexander Kristoff, winner on the most beautiful avenue in the world in 2018.

Kristoff was brilliantly brought to the front of the peloton by his teammates and started his effort in the first positions after a lead out of Andrea Pasqualon. The Norwegian rider finished third, achieving the third podium of the team in this Tour.

Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert is one of the four teams out of 22 to reach Paris complete. For the first time in its history, it is represented in the top ten of the final classification.

Thanks to an agressive racing style, Louis Meintjes finishes eight, winning a prestigious second place on top of Alpe d’Huez and two other top ten finishes in Mende and Peyragudes along the way.

In this way, he equals his best performance at the Tour, which he realized twice in 2016 and 2017. His eight place in 2017 was his last appearance in a top ten of a Grand Tour.

Dutchman Taco van der Hoorn also got close to the victory in Arenberg as he finished second, half a wheel behind the winner after a long breakaway. The Dutchman was one of the two riders to discover the Tour.

The other debutant, Belgian rider Kobe Goossens, braved the pain since his bad crash during the fourth stage. He played a precious role alongside Louis Meintjes, also in the breakaway in the stages towards Alpe d’Huez and Châtel.

German rider Georg Zimmermann finished his second consécutive Tour with the Walloon team and just like last year he brings home one top ten thanks to a breakaway as he finished sixth on the Altiport de Megève.

Andrea Pasqualon and Adrien Petit both conclude their fourth Tour de France in service of Alexander Kristoff, who took fourth place in Calais and a podium in Paris. His compatriot Sven Erik Bystrøm was the first rider in this Tour to win the combatively award.

« My teammates protected me well until the final lap, to enable me to sprint for the stage win. We came out of the last corner a little bit too far, but Andrea Pasqualon did a fantastic lead out. With around 350 meter to go, we had to stop pedaling for an instance because of a big movement in front of us. We lost our momentum, but from then on I could do a straight sprint. I'm happy with this third place, this is a nice end to our Tour de France. Even though we were dreaming of a stage win, we can be proud about our performance. »

« As a team we can be proud of our Tour de France. Everyone was really fighting, we had a good team spirit. I think we got the best out of everyone.  For me personally, a better time trial could have led to a better result. But his is part of the Tour. I arrived here on the Champs-Elysées as a happy man. I'm looking forward to celebrate this. »

« We were very motivated to grab this last chance on a stage win and we finished our Tour de France with a nice third place. After Arenberg and Alpe d'Huez, this is our third podium in a prestigious stage. With a bit more luck, we could have reached a success. I'm very proud on what our riders achieved, they honored the team, our sponsors, our fans, with their agressive racing style. This tells a lot about the spirit which animates us to fight for our goals. This superb performance of Louis Meintjes was possible thanks to exemplary teamwork during three weeks. We again gained a lot of experience and we showed that we are capable of racing for the victory and to chase a top result in the general classification. »



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