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Tour de Wallonie

Victories in 2022 – Jan Bakelants bursts into tears as he wins for the first time in 6 years

17. Jan Bakelants bursts into tears as he wins the final stage of Tour de Wallonie, his first victory in six years.

"This victory was emotional because it closed a long chapter started in 2017: my return to victory after my bad crash in the Tour of Lombardy. I kept believing that winning was still possible, even if this path turned out to be very long. I almost did it in June in the Critérium du Dauphiné, caught just before the finish line. I was close to be selected for the Tour and I wanted to show my best form on the Tour de Wallonie. Even if the 25 kilometers of cobblestones of the last stage did not suit me, the scenario of cat and mouse with the breakaway all day worked in my favour. There was no real control in the peloton, so I took the opportunity to attack in the last kilometer. The road was slightly uphill until the last 200 meters, but I managed to keep a few lengths ahead of the peloton. Winning again after six years was so rewarding! I thought of my wife and my three children, who came to encourage me the day before. I just wanted to go home and celebrate with them, but my car had battery issues. Fortunately, the staff of our hotel Aero 44 helped me and I was able to celebrate at home in Vorselaar, with a good bottle of wine!"


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