Omega Pharma Quick-Step’s Guillaume Van Keirsbulck continued his strong season at the final stage of Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen on today. The young Belgian bridged to an escape group that included two of his teammates, Andrew Fenn and Julian Alaphilippe, with less than 23 kilometers remaining.
Van Keirsbulck was just 14" back in the overall, in 6th place, going into the final stage. Sensing the possibility of a double victory, he attacked with about 5 kilometers to go. He was able to hold his advantage all the way to the finish line, sealing the 15th win for OPQS this season. He finished 2nd in the GC to Gert Joeaar (Cofidis), who held onto his lead for the overall victory.
Van Keirsbulck also won the jersey for best young rider.
"I am really happy to finally grab a victory," Van Keirsbulck said. "It was a very strange race because before entering into the local circuit I had a flat tire, about 5km before the circuit. Fortunately, Iljo Keisse helped me to come back. It took me a while but I was able to make it. Then in the local circuit there was a breakaway that included my teammates Fenn and Alaphilippe, and they had about 30 seconds of an advantage. At a certain moment I went solo to try to bridge. Fortunately, Fenn waited for me and we returned to the group together. We had three riders out of the breakaway with more or less 22km from the finish. In the last kilometers, at 5km to go, I decided to go alone. The last 500 meters I was really suffering because there was also a headwind. I was a bit scared that they would catch me, but I made it to the line. I was really happy I had also the time to celebrate. I am happy also because my condition is very good. The entire year I’ve been riding well. I had a good feeling this season even if I have a back problem I am trying to solve. It’s nice that all the work I’ve done is paying off now. It’s my first victory of the season, but also the first time I’ve won in two years. So, I really want to enjoy this victory. It’s a pity that I lost the GC by a few seconds, but today let me enjoy my stage win in front of my public in West-Vlaanderen."
Top 25 Finishers
1 Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team 4:21:05 2 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty – Groupe Gobert 0:00:01 3 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 4 Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team 5 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) AG2R La Mondiale 6 Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto Belisol 7 Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin Sharp 8 Scott Thwaites (GBr) Team NetApp – Endura 9 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Giant-Shimano 10 Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team 11 Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise 12 Alessandro Malaguti (Ita) Vini Fantini Nippo 13 Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne – Seche Environnement 14 Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Wallonie – Bruxelles 15 Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Team 3M 16 Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole 17 Gert Joeaar (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 18 Tim Vanspeybroeck (Bel) Team 3M 19 Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetApp – Endura 20 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Garmin Sharp 21 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Vastgoedservice – Golden Palace Continental Team 22 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Trek Factory Racing 23 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) RusVelo 24 Jesse Sergent (NZl) Trek Factory Racing 25 Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise
Overall General Classification
1 Gert Joeaar (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 8:43:24 2 Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:03 3 Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:00:05 4 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:11 5 Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Wanty – Groupe Gobert 0:00:13 6 Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team 7 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:15 8 Jesse Sergent (NZl) Trek Factory Racing 9 Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:16 10 Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetApp – Endura 0:00:17 11 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Garmin Sharp 0:00:18 12 Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:24 13 Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team 0:00:25 14 Chad Haga (USA) Team Giant-Shimano 15 Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne – Seche Environnement 0:00:26 16 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team 17 Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:00:27 18 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Giant-Shimano 0:00:29 19 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise 0:00:30 20 Blaz Jarc (Slo) Team NetApp – Endura 0:00:31 21 Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale 22 Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise 0:00:32 23 Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise 0:00:35 24 Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) MTN – Qhubeka 25 Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise 0:00:41
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