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"I said to myself, 'Don't look back.' But I looked back with 500 meters to go and saw that they were coming. I said to myself, 'You are either going to win, or you are going to die.' I won, so I am happy.&...

Photo: ©Tim De Waele/TDW Sport

BENELUX TOUR

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GREG VAN AVERMAET

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MANUEL QUINZIATO

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PHILIPPE GILBERT

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16.08.2015 @ 21:31 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Manuel Quinziato of the BMC Racing Team soloed to win his first race since 2008 at the Eneco Tour Sunday while teammates Greg Van Avermaet and Philippe Gilbert finished runner-up overall and in fourth place, respectively.

 

With less six kilometers to go in the 193.8-kilometer race, Quinziato attacked his two breakaway companions from what remained of an original 11-man escape group. But after considerably distancing Björn Leukemans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Yves Lampaert (Etixx-Quick-Step), the pair closed the gap to him on the cobblestoned climb to the finish.

"I made a gap and the guys behind disappeared," Quinziato said. "But I was à bloc (at my limit). I said to myself, 'Don't look back.' But I looked back with 500 meters to go and saw that they were coming. I said to myself, 'You are either going to win, or you are going to die.' I won, so I am happy. I'm very happy I made it after a fourth place last year.

 

"On Saturday I tried to keep a good position in the classification, but that didn't work out. That's why I went for the stage win today. I wasn't planning to go early, but suddenly I was in that group of 14. It was a great day, I felt good this morning. With Leukemans and Lampaert I had two powerful guys with me. I played it out the way I imagined and I'm really happy."

Leukemans finished second, three seconds back, while Lampaert arrived an additional five seconds later. Van Avermaet finished fourth to secure his runner-up finish overall, while Gilbert was ninth on the stage.

Tim Wellens, the solo winner of Saturday's stage, won the overall title, 59 seconds ahead of Van Avermaet. Wilco Kelderman (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) was third, at 1:17, and Gilbert fourth, a further 23 seconds back.

"We tried to make the race hard to drop Kelderman but we couldn't do it," Van Avermaet said. "I am  happy with second place and with Manuel winning the stage and me being in fourth today. Everything went pretty well for us and I think we had a good Eneco Tour with the win and also picking up a few WorldTour points."

 

"4th in @EnecoTour very hard race a lot of transfers and a very nice day to finish with a win! Thanks to @manuelquinziato @BMCProTeam," Gilbert tweeted after the stage.

BMC Racing Team Sport Director Valerio Piva said the plan for the day originally was not to send a rider in the day's breakaway.

"But we did tell the guys this morning that if a big move went away, we had to follow it," Piva said. "It was good that Manuel was there and he proved that he was the strongest. It was perfect how he dropped them and won the stage."

Quinziato's last individual victory came in February of 2008 when he won two stages of the World's View Challenge in South Africa. This was his second Eneco Tour stage win, adding to a solo victory on Stage 2 of the 2006 edition. Last fall, Quinziato was part of the BMC Racing Team's gold medal-winning world team time trial squad. He was also part of the team time trial win on Stage 9 at the Tour de France last month.

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