Race report

Messy sprint finish in Belgium

Baloise Belgium Tour

Photo Credit: Cor Vos

A predominantly flat 174 kilometre long parcours lay ahead of the riders this afternoon as they rolled out from the start town of Gingelom, and a stage that was expected to end in a bunch sprint. A flurry of attacks saw a five rider breakaway escape with relative ease in the opening kilometres, quickly building up a three minute advantage over the peloton before things stabilised.

With the sprint teams taking control of the bunch, the gap to those ahead slowly dwindled throughout the afternoon. The breakaway put up a good fight though but they were eventually caught at three kilometres to go. The team were initially in a good position with sprinter Cees Bol but on the twisting and turning run in, it was hectic in the bunch with a lot of movement. Going under the flamme rouge the team lost each other in the chaos and with Bol too far back to sprint, Nils Eekhoff gave it his best and crossed the line in tenth place for the team.

Team DSM coach Luke Roberts said: “It was a pretty controlled stage today and was one for the sprinters. We did well earlier in the stage with our positioning and looking after each other but in the hectic run in to the line the guys lost each other and we were then too far back to go for a top result. We’ll sit down and analyse what happened in the finale and take some learning points with us for our next opportunity, where we’re motivated to go for a better result.” 

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 EWAN Caleb Lotto Soudal 3:56:43 20
2 MØRKØV Michael Deceuninck - Quick Step ,, 10
3 VAN POPPEL Danny Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux ,, 5
9 EEKHOFF Nils Team DSM ,, -
37 BOL Cees Team DSM ,, -
69 VAN UDEN Casper Team DSM ,, -
76 HAMILTON Chris Team DSM ,, -
101 PEDERSEN Casper Team DSM 0:29 -
127 NIEUWENHUIS Joris Team DSM 3:01 -
130 LEIJNSE Enzo Team DSM 3:44 -