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“During the last climb I started to have some difficulties but Gert Dockx assisted me in the descent. Jonas van Genechten made a perfect lead out and I could finish the fantastic work of the team. It already is my fifth victory this y...

Photo: Sirotti






23.07.2013 @ 20:39 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Kenny Dehaes (Lotto-Belisol) has had an outstanding season so far and today it only got better as he won the penultimate stage of the Tour de Wallonie in a bunch sprint. A late climb put the Belgian into difficulty but formidable teamwork brought him back into position to finally launch his devastating sprint.


Earlier in his career Kenny Dehaes was regarded as the next big Belgian sprinter but when he made the move to Katusha in 2009, his progress stalled and he fell into the big pool of anonymous riders. Still a fast rider, he often played a role in the lead-outs but he never managed to have much of an impact on the sprints himself.


Prior to this season, he appointed a new coach in an attempt to return to his winning ways. That strategy has proved to be highly successful as he has gone from success to success in the early part of the season. His win in the Trofeo Mallorca was an early confidence booster and since then he has clocked up wins in the Handzame Classic and the Halle-Ingooigem.


Today he got the second part of his season off to a perfect start as he benefited from a perfect lead-out to win the penultimate stage of the Tour de Wallonie. Jonas Vangenecten made him launch his sprint from the front of the race and neither Giacomo Nizzolo nor Danilo Napolitano could come around him.


Earlier in the stage, a 4-rider break had enjoyed a 13-minute advantage and it required a concerted effort from Lotto-Belisol and Omega Pharma-Quick Step and later also BMC, Vacansoleil and Garmin to bring it back together.


“When the leaders had an advantage of 13 minutes I asked the team to step up the pace," he said. "My legs felt good so Jurgen Van de Walle increased the speed in the bunch. Together with Omega Pharma – Quick-Step we managed to get closer to the leaders.”


A late climb had its top located just 6,7km from the finish and that ascent threatened to derail all chance of success for Dehaes. Once again it was, however, perfect teamwork that allowed him to play a role in the finish.


“During the last climb I started to have some difficulties but Gert Dockx assisted me in the descent," he said. "Jonas van Genechten made a perfect lead out and I could finish the fantastic work of the team."


With 4 wins already in the pocket, Dehaes has now set his sights on more success and the first opportunity already comes in a week's time in a race that usually has plenty of bunch kicks.


"It already is my fourth victory this year," he said. "Moreover, a lot of fans were standing at the side of the course. My goal is to win some more races this year. I participate in the Tour of Denmark and after that in several one-day races.”


Dehaes is unlikely to play a role in tomorrow's final stage which is set to shape up the final GC. Inside the final 13km, the riders will climb the Mur de Thuin twice and the last passage comes just 600m from the line.


Starting at 14.15, you can follow the exciting stage on



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