Tim Wellens solos to victory in GP de Wallonie


Tim Wellens won in great fashion the 58th edition of the GP de Wallonie. Wellens, Gallopin, Benoot and Maes were part of a 21 riders echelon which opened 40 kilometres from the finish and the group was then reduced to eight riders. Wellens accelerated with sixteen kilometres to go and no one of his fellow escapees seemed able to respond. In the finale, he extended his lead over one minute and secured the win. This is the sixth victory this season for the 26-year-old Belgian. Tony Gallopin finished second one minute later, Tiesj got Benoot fourth, Jelle Vanendert seventh and Bjorg Lambrecht ninth. The riders left Chaudfontaine at twelve o'clock for a ride through Wallonia. Edward Planckaert, Cordeel, Devriendt, Delfosse, Tasset, Leveau and Ruijgh established the day's breakaway after fifteen kilometres of racing, and they were granted a maximum advantage of 4'15". Lotto Soudal trainees Mathias Van Gompel and Emiel Planckaert were among those who kept the front group under control. AG2R came to the front with 40 kilometres remaining and opened echelons in the peloton, which led to the creation of a front group of 21 riders, which included Tim Wellens, Tony Gallopin, Tiesj Benoot and Nikolas Maes. After Benoot and Teuns tried to go clear, it was Wellens and Bakelants's turn to make a move, but six other riders jumped on their wheel. Tim Wellens saw an opportunity with sixteen kilometres to go and attacked from the last position in the group. From that moment onwards, the Belgian never stopped increasing his lead and he was able to enjoy his triumph in the last kilometres on the Citadel in Namur. Wellens will come to the World Championships in Norway in brilliant form. Tim Wellens: "I already felt great in the two WorldTour races in Canada, and I'm happy that I was able to show my good form and to translate it into a good result. We came here with three leaders, but I said this morning that I wanted to have a go for the victory. I want to thank my teammates for all the work they did today. Tiesj and Tony were in a perfect position in the chasing group, the trainees worked hard in the early part of the race and Nikolas Maes gave it all in the echelon to build a large gap. Our objective was to ride hard on the Côte de Lustin in order to come to the next climb with a much smaller group. The last sixteen kilometres felt like a time trial, I immediately tried to open a gap, and then I made sure it remained stable. Sports director Marc Wauters told me that I could enjoy the last three kilometres and that the victory was sealed. I trained really hard for this period, with an eye on the World Championships and I hope I'll be able to show the same kind of condition in the following weeks. "

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