photo credits @ Trek-Segafredo
Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) claimed the 7th and final stage of the BinckBank Tour today, after the Belgian rider stormed to victory ahead of his closest rival Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floor) in Geraardsbergen.
Meanwhile, Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) cross the line moments later to seal the overall race victory.
Stuyven succeeded in escaping with just under three kilometers to go, a move that would prove insurmountable for the chase to close.
By the time the Trek-Segafredo crossed the line, he was totally spent, quickly falling to the ground in an attempt to catch his breath, while his teammates congratulated him with pats on the side.
A group of seven riders containing Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin), Elia Viviani (Team Sky), Jay Thomson (Dimension Data), Grega Bole (Bahrain-Merida), Kenny Dehaes (Wanty-Groupe gobert), Elmar Reinders (Roopot) and Tim Merlier (Veranda’s Willems Crelan), marked the day’s first breakaway attempt, who were quickly joined by Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise’s Jonas Rickaert and Preben Van Hecke.
However, a vigilant peloton never allowed the escapees to establish more than a two minute advantage.
Viviani later decided to attack his fellow breakaway companions along the Muur van Garaardsberg, taking Martin with him.
Meanwhile, the peloton became shattered along the following climb of the Bosberg, after Danny van Poppel (Team Sky) and Wout Van Aert (Veranda’s Willems Crelan) commenced an attack.
From there, the duo first bridged their way to Dehaes and Van Hecke, but by the time they caught the leaders, there was little gap between them and the fast approaching peloton.
With the peloton fast on their heels, Martin decided to go on the attack, only to see Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) overhaul him.
The Slovakian rider led the fractured group over the top and down the other side of the Muur, with Wellens and Stuyven not too far behind.
However, the race eventually came back together again, which was followed by a series of attacks by numerous race favorites during the final 20 kilometers.
The longest attempt came from Lukas Postlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), which allowed his teammate Sagan a brief opportunity to lessen his pace.
Postlberger led through the so-called golden kilometer, but was soon brought back into the clutches of the chase.
With three kilometers to go, two small groups of race favorites came together. But, as a lull came over the pace, Stuyven saw an opportunity to attack, which saw the Belgian rider quickly open up a slight advantage that would hold for the duration.
Top 20 Finishers
1 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 4:06:48
2 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:01
3 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb
4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
5 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
7 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
8 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ
9 Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty – Groupe Gobert
10 Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
11 Petr Vakoc (Cze) Quick-Step Floors
12 Huub Duijn (Ned) Veranda’s Willems Crelan
13 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac
14 Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team 0:00:07
15 Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:09
16 Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty – Groupe Gobert
17 Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
18 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
19 Loïc Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team
20 Boy van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:12
Final General Classification
1 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 24:34:33
2 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:17
3 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:46
4 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:51
5 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:14
6 Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:01:15
7 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:53
8 Lars Boom (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:01:59
9 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 0:02:12
10 Petr Vakoc (Cze) Quick-Step Floors 0:02:23
11 Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team 0:02:24
12 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac 0:02:27
13 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-Scott 0:02:37
14 Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:44
15 Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:02
16 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb 0:03:03
17 Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty – Groupe Gobert 0:03:20
18 Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
19 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij 0:03:33
20 Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin 0:03:47
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