First pro victory for De Bie

Sean De Bie has won his first race as a pro! The 23-year-old Lotto Soudal rider was the best in the final stage of the Tour de Luxembourg.

The stage, 156 kilometres long, took the riders from Mersch to Luxembourg City. There were eight official climbs, one of those lay in the local lap of 6.7 kilometres which had to be covered five times. Quite soon after the start eleven riders escaped the peloton, Sean De Bie was one of them. The break had a lead up to six minutes. In the finale the front group fell apart. Five men rode to the finish line together: Sean De Bie, Leonardo Duque, Jimmy Engoulvent, Björn Leukemans and Kenneth Van Bilsen. De Bie triumphed at the end. He beat Duque and Leukemans. It was a successful Tour de Luxembourg for Lotto Soudal with three stage wins, two for André Greipel who can return home with the points jersey.

Sean De Bie: “It were four tough days, also because of the hot weather. I still felt good before the start of this last stage and knew a breakaway could survive. I didn’t hesitate and attacked immediately after the start. On the first climb we took off. It was a nice group and we worked well together. Everyone was standing far enough in the classification, so we could get a sufficient lead. In the local laps the front group fell apart. I wasn’t the best uphill. When the others accelerated I looked for my own tempo. I was lucky no one got away alone and there was always some hesitation, that’s why I could always close the gap.”

“Also on the last hill I lost contact. Just before the last straight line I could join the others again. Because of the speed I had, coming out of the bend, I could pretty easily pass them by. I had done a recon of this stage, except for the lap in the centre. It was going up and down all the time today. Thanks to my knowledge of the route I could always take a good position to save as much energy as possible. The previous days I could give tips to the team. This first pro victory feels really good. A few times during the season I can take my chance and it’s fantastic it turned out this way.”