Tiesj Benoot finished on the second place in the final stage of the Baloise Belgium Tour, that’s also his place in the overall classification. Etixx - Quick-Step rider Tom Boonen took home the points jersey, and Yves Lampaert finished 25th in the 199.2km 5th Stage of the Baloise Belgium Tour on Sunday.
The last stage was a tough hill stage with start and finish in Sankt-Vith. Gert Dockx and Jürgen Roelandts were part of an early breakaway of twenty-four, with some nice names. That group fell apart. Three riders remained in front, one of them was Jürgen Roelandts. With just over thirty kilometres to go the three were caught. Then Tiesj Benoot came to the forefront. On the last hill he was in a front group with Egor Silin and Greg Van Avermaet. Van Avermaet attacked close to the finish line. Tiesj still came close to his fellow countryman, but got second. That’s also the place he has in the overall classification, 41 seconds behind Van Avermaet. Thomas De Gendt rode a good finale as well and crossed the finish line as seventh.
Tiesj Benoot: “Our team rode well all day long. Gert and Jürgen were part of an early breakaway. When Jürgen rode in front with two companions, I could stay relaxed in the peloton, because BMC had to pull. The teammates brought me into a good position for when the race broke loose in the peloton. I especially focused on Van Avermaet. He didn’t attack, so I took the initiative on the uphill part after the Stockeu. I didn’t get any support of the two riders that had joined me. Other riders bridged and with eight we started the last hill. There we got away with three.”
“Silin didn’t cooperate with Greg and me. In the final I made a small mistake by not joining Van Avermaet when he attacked. I thought Silin would close the gap, but he couldn’t. With my sprint I still came close to Van Avermaet. I still had something left in the finale and wanted to aim for the sprint. At the end it turns out I had the best sprint. At the moment I am disappointed, but I can be satisfied with my condition and my race. The GC was a goal, that second place is good. I’m ready for my next races: Dauphiné, European Games and Belgian Championships.”
"I'm happy with this result," Boonen said. "Of course when you look back on those two second places, there was probably potential for more, especially yesterday. But with one stage win and the points jersey, I am pleased. Today was a very hard stage. I went into the breakaway with a group of 24 for about 100 kilometers, but the peloton was doing a lot of work to catch us. In the final kilometers I was just empty. I ate everything that I had with me, and it was just enough to make it to the finish.Now I will recover a couple of days and start in Heist-Op-Den-Berg next week."