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"We knew that after that we might be a bit short. We wanted to give the guys a bit more of a free role and give them opportunities. We didn't do too much but it was good that we could allow different riders, who are normally workin...

Photo: Sirotti






16.08.2015 @ 23:16 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lars Petter Nordhaug put in a gutsy and attacking performance on the final day of the Eneco Tour in Belgium.


The Norwegian gave it his all despite not having the legs to contend for victory, pushing clear briefly on the run into Geraardsbergen with 10 kilometres to go.


The acceleration was brought back and the Tour de Yorkshire winner eventually came home in the peloton, one minute and one second behind the day's winner.


Up ahead it was a victory for the breakaway, with Manual Quinziato (BMC Racing) holding on over a demanding course, complete with sections of cobblestones.


Part of an original group of 14 escapees, the Italian hung on as part of a trio who went on to contest the win at the foot of the famous Muur.


Bjorn Leukemans (Wanty Goubert) mounted a late charge after Quinziato had looked to time trial away following the penultimate climb of the Denderoordberg, coming within three seconds of the day's winner. Yves Lampaert (Etixx - Quick-Step) held on for third in front of a packed crowd.


In the group behind Lotto Soudal controlled the pace to wrap up overall victory for Tim Wellens. The young Belgian defended his Eneco Tour title of 12 months ago, having laid the foundations with a fine solo victory on stage six.


Wellens eventually topped the podium with an advantage of 59 seconds over Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing), and 1:17 over Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo).


Taking place on roads made famous by the Tour of Flanders, the focal point of the day was two full climbs over the famed Kapelmuur. Bernhard Eisel used his experience to set the tempo and lead team-mate Nordhaug onto the climb first time round, before a flurry of attacks began.



After the stage Sports Director Kurt Asle Arvesen talked through a race which saw the team get off to a flying start before struggling to make an impact in the latter half.


"We had big expectations at the beginning of the race and we were able to win one stage and also have Elia (Viviani) right up there on stage three," he said.


"We were really happy with that and we also had a day in the lead which was good. We knew that after that we might be a bit short. We wanted to give the guys a bit more of a free role and give them opportunities. We didn't do too much but it was good that we could allow different riders, who are normally working for the team, a freer role. 


"Lars Petter tried to get away but the speed was very high which made it tough. He just missed the group that went away in the middle of the stage and he really tried to be in there. He was really motivated and we had to try to do something. Now we look forward to the next set of races."



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