Sean De Bie has won the GP Impanis – Van Petegem (Europe Tour, 1.HC). With more than two kilometres to go the young Belgian attacked from a considerably reduced peloton. He left his companion Floris Gerts behind and a great solo led him to his second victory of the season. Earlier this year De Bie was the best in the fifth stage of the Tour de Luxembourg.
After twelve kilometres four riders got in front: De Marchi (BMC), Morice (Europcar), De La Cruz (Etixx) and Van Goethem (Roompot). The four had a maximal advantage of six minutes. In the peloton it was mainly Lotto Soudal that controlled the pace. The situation remained stable for a long time, until the ascents of Holstheide and Smysberg. 40 kilometres before the finish several riders decided to attack. Pim Ligthart, Jasper De Buyst, Dennis Vanendert and Sean De Bie raced very attentively in a peloton that had been reduced to a group of about 40 riders due to the race conditions.
In the finale Pim Ligthart nearly rode in front for fifteen kilometres together with Brambila, Veuchelen and Gerts, but they were caught at 6.5 kilometres from the end. After an attempt of Jasper De Buyst it was Sean De Bie who made the decisive move. Floris Gerts took over for a moment, then De Bie took off on his own. In the background Gerts and Claeys tried to counter, but De Bie obviously was the strongest. Great performance!
Sean De Bie: “The early breakaway with a rider of BMC and Etixx was a nasty situation, especially because Trek and at first instance also Lotto NL – Jumbo didn’t want to cooperate with us in the peloton. Sander Armée did loads of work. With Kenny Dehaes we had a sprinter in the team, but we assumed it wouldn’t end with a sprint because of the tough zone around Overijse. That’s why we tried to always have a guy in a break and the situation with Pim in a group of four was perfect. I wanted to be the first to get into the dangerous corner at five kilometres from the finish, and so I did. In the last three kilometres I decided to go for all or nothing. The pain in my legs during that last kilometre was immense, but the victory makes you forget about that.”
“The entire race I had the feeling I was good, but I didn’t want to use my energy too soon. Wednesday, I felt even better at the GP Wallonie, but then I started to mingle too soon so the power in the legs had gone in the finale and then I just tried to help Jens and Jelle. I made a huge progress this year; it’s the first time that I am so good in this part of the season. I finished the Tour of Britain with a good condition and you notice that a lot of others are almost at the end of their strengths. And of course I’m happy I can give a victory to Lotto Soudal.”