Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) claimed this year’s Dwars door Vlaanderen today, followed by his teammate and fellow Belgian – Edward Theuns.
Wallays and Theuns were part of a four-man breakaway group, that contained world champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quick-Step), and Cannondale-Garmin’s Dylan Van Baarle. With the help of his teammate, Wallays timed his attack perfectly during the final kilometer, to claim the win.
Meanwhile, once Theuns was confident his teammate was assured victory, he commenced an attack of his own – subsequently distancing Kwiatkowski and Van Baarle – to claim second place.
“It’s very important for me,” Wallays said. “I want to be on a ProTour team. I want to be on a big team. With two big victories I hope it will come.”
With 52 kilometers remaining, Wallays, Theuns, Kwiatkowski, and Van Baarle were out front with a slight 21-second lead.
Back in the peloton, a sizable group containing riders such as Lars Boom (Astana), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), and Stijn Devolder (Trek Factory Racing), managed to break clear of the main field and give chase.
With 40 kilometers remaining, the escapees had succeeded in stretching their lead to one-minute lead over the main chase group.
With the peloton fast on their heels, Boom decided to attack from within the chase group on the Oude Kwaremeont, thus leaving him to chase alone.
However, not longer after, Stijin Devolder managed to make his way to Boom, where the duo succeeded in shaving further seconds off of the escapee’s lead.
But, shortly thereafter, disaster struck, as both riders are involved in a crash on a flat section of pave with approximately 34 kilometers remaining.
As result of the chaos, the breakaway group had succeeded in increasing their lead 1:12.
However, as there race entered into the final 25 kilometers, their advantage was down to 43 seconds.
Meanwhile back in the peloton, Lotto-Soudal’s Jens Debusschere was pushing the pace.
With 12 kilometers remaining, Lotto-Soudal’s efforts in the chase began to pay off, as the gap had been reduced to 28 seconds.
Just outside of 10km to go, Katusha’s Viacheslav Kuznetsov attacked the chase, attempting to bridge himself to the breakaway group. However, the Russian rider’s efforts were all for not, as the escapee’s gap went back out to 45 seconds – during the final five kilometers.
From that point onward, the four leaders would remained clear, with Wallays attacking during the final kilometer, while Kwiatkowski sat on the front of the group – apparently frustrated by the lack of cooperation from Van Baarle.
In the meantime, Wallays teammate, Theuns, was content simply sitting on the back, while others attempted to chase.
Indeed, Kwiatkowski chased into the final hundred meters, but Theuns was there to execute a final move, that left the world champion and Van Baarle unable to counter.
Dwars door Vlaanderen 2015 Results
BEL 1 WALLAYS, Jelle (TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE) 4:36:03
BEL 2 THEUNS, Edward (TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE) + 2
NED 3 VAN BAARLE, Dylan (CANNONDALE – GARMIN)
POL 4 KWIATKOWSKI, Michal (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 4
BEL 5 VAN KEIRSBULCK, Guillaume (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 1:05
BEL 6 BENOOT, Tiesj (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 1:08
FRA 7 LEMOINE, Cyril (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS)
BEL 8 DEBUSSCHERE, Jens (LOTTO SOUDAL)
BEL 9 MAES, Nikolas (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
RUS 10 TCATEVICH, Aleksei (KATUSHA)
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