photo credit @ Eneco Tour
Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) claimed stage 6 of this year’s Eneco Tour today, after commencing a long-range attack that held until the finish.
In addition to winning the stage victory, Wellens also inherited the overall lead from Wilco Kelderman (Lotto-Jumbo).
Wellens made his move just before the start of the last lap of the stage, subsequently catching and passing the duo of Michael Rodgers (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Simon Geschke (Giant-Alpecin) on the Cote Saint-Roche, who up until then had been leading the race.
Having then established himself as the sole leade, Wellens was able to take the maximum nine seconds available at the golden kilometer, and, from there, he preceded to build up a lead of around one minute over the chase group.
Before Wellens’ decisive attack, Greg van Avermaet had been the day’s chief instigator. His frequent digs caused several escape groups to rise and fall, as well as steadily attrition through the peloton, to where Kelderman’s Lotto-Jumbo team came under serious pressure.
Having failed to follow Wellens’ move, though, Van Avermaet set off in pursuit of the Belgian himself, gaining six bonus seconds at the golden kilometre and finishing the stage in second.
Earlier in the day, an escape group of Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin), Jerome Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Matthias Brandle (IAM Cycling), Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida) and Sebastian Turgot (Ag2r-La Mondiale) got away, but were caught when the favourites started attacking each other.
Wellens now has just one day to defend his overall lead and claim his second successive overall win in the Eneco Tour.
Top 20 Finishers
1 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 5:28:46
2 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:49
3 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant – Alpecin 0:00:51
4 Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:03
5 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Team Cannondale – Garmin 0:01:07
6 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:01:13
7 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8 Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing
9 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team
10 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:01:17
11 Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
12 Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo
13 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:01:21
14 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick Step
15 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team 0:04:16
16 Bjorn Leukemans (Bel) Wanty – Groupe Gobert
17 Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant – Alpecin 0:04:19
18 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek Factory Racing
19 Marco Marcato (Ita) Wanty – Groupe Gobert
20 Nathan Earle (Aus) Team Sky
General classification after stage 6
1 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 22:12:59
2 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:01:03
3 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:01:17
4 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:01:40
5 Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing 0:01:48
6 Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:51
7 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team 0:01:54
8 Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:02:05
9 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:02:13
10 Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
11 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick Step 0:02:15
12 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Team Cannondale – Garmin 0:02:16
13 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:02:41
14 Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ 0:04:27
15 Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:05:02
16 Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise 0:05:04
17 Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant – Alpecin 0:05:06
18 Michael Valgren (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:05:07
19 Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Giant – Alpecin
20 Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Team Katusha
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