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Tour de Wallonie

Q. Hermans ends 6th: “We took our responsibilities”

The fifth and last stage of the Tour de Wallonie lead the riders from Dinant (Namur) towards the province of Hainaut, first along the French border at L’Escaillère (Chimay) then up towards Quaregnon. There, two final circuit laps awaited, with multiple technical and cobbled sections, as well as the Tienne du Dragon and the Côte de Rossignol as difficulties.

Five fugitives, who broke away in the first 10 kilometers, enjoyed the biggest lead recorded in this edition, with more than 7 minutes, 130 kilometers from the finish. They will not last until the end, however, as the peloton, led by several teams of sprinters, had reduced their lead to less than 2 minutes, as the rain began to appear 35 kilometers from the end. Several riders tried to counter-attack, anticipating the junction, but under the impetus of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, everybody was back together 15 kilometers from the finish, just before the foot from the Côte de Rossignol.

In this final difficulty of the Tour de Wallonie, an acceleration in which Quinten Hermans was involved, tried to force the decision. But like the day before, the winner was decided in the sprint. Jakobsen (Deceuninck) won the stage, while Hermans and Odd Christian Eiking crossed the line in this field of around 50 units. Hermans finished this Tour de Wallonie in sixth place in the general classification.

We tried to change the course of things on the last two stages, by being aggressive and by taking our responsibilities. Unfortunately, everything played out on the third day and the parcours was not hard enough to overturn the outcome. This sixth place finish is good but considering the work done by the team, which has been tremendous all these five days, it is a small reward. I just returned from an altitude training camp, so I am not yet 100%, which is why I remain motivated for the next events where I expect to get better and better.


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