photo credit @ Eneco Tour
Heavy rain inundated today’s stage of the Eneco Tour, but that didn’t stop Johan Le Bon (FDJ) from clinching a heroic victory along the wet, twisting roads of Sittard, Netherlands to seize the win.
Le bon claimed his victory, after jettisoning his breakaway companion Dylan Van Baarle during the final kilometer.
Meanwhile, today’s results produced a new race leader, whereby Wilco Kelderman’s (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) finished well enough in the main group, to wrest the leader’s jersey from the shoulders of his teammate Jos van Emden.
About a third of the way through today’s stage, van Baarle and Le Bon managed to ride clear of the main field.
From there, the duo went on to establish a sizable advantage of more than four minutes over the peloton.
However, heavy rain and slick road conditions seemed to hindered their progress, where their lead fell to a little over two minutes once they had reached the final lap of around Sittard. And, just a few kilometers later, their lead had dropped to just 1:19.
Inside of the final 10 kilometers, André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) decided to go on the attack, while bringing his teammate Tim Wellens and a handful of others along with him.
Yet, with less than 3 kilometers to go, the duo was still clinging to a 30 second lead, while Greipel et al, continued in earnest to bridge the gap.
With 2 kilometers remaining, Le Bon decided to attack his breakaway companion, but van Baarle managed to keep his rival in sight.
However, despite a looming chase group behind him, van Baarle failed to make his way back to Le Bon during the final few hundred meters. And, from there, the 24-year old French rider went on to win his first WorldTour victory.
Top 10 Finishers
1 Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ.fr 4:13:50
2 Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
3 Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica GreenEdge 0:00:09
4 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
6 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
7 Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:11
8 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:15
9 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:27
10 Lars Boom (Ned) Astana Pro Team
General classification after stage 5
1 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 16:44:13
2 Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:01
3 Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:00:08
4 Jos Van Emden (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:00:13
5 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:19
6 Lars Boom (Ned) Astana Pro Team 0:00:20
7 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:26
8 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:29
9 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team
10 Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:34
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