The 27-year-old Italian remarkably held off the peloton after an entire day in the breakaway.

Davide Ballerini became the 12th different Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider to score a victory in 2022 after one of the best days of racing this season, on the penultimate stage of the Tour de Wallonie, which travelled from Durbuy to Couvin, over 200.9 kilometers peppered with five classified climbs.

The day got off to a quiet start, the peloton giving green light to six men to go in the breakaway. Davide Ballerini immediately took advantage of this opportunity, and once he made it in the front, he helped the group increase their maximum advantage to eight minutes with around 140 kilometers to go. From that moment on, the bunch moved up a gear and began chewing into their gap, which 50 kilometers from the finish sat at three minutes.

The last ascent on the course came inside ten kilometers to go, and it soon became obvious that the leaders would be caught, but as it turned out it wasn’t just a walk in the park for the field, who made contact with them only over the top of the climb, in part also to Ballerini, who showed incredible grit as he kept accelerating and pushing hard despite his chances of making it looking to go up in smoke five kilometers from the finish.

But the canny Italian wasn’t done, and on the descent, he rode clear together with three other men, and the technical roads worked into their favour, as the quartet went under the flamme rouge with five seconds in hand. As the bunch was closing in and the margin was becoming slimmer with every meter, “La Trivella di Cantù” decided to make his move at the 300 meters to go sign, launching a hugely impressive sprint and powering like a locomotive past his companions for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s 38th victory of the season.

“This win means a lot for me, because cycling is my life. I’m happy to be back on the top spot of the podium after such a long time and repay the confidence of the team. This victory is also for my teammates who aren’t here anymore, I hope they will recover quickly and rejoin us soon”, Davide said after the stage which saw him become the first Italian in three years to get a victory at the Tour de Wallonie. “It wasn’t an easy day, but I kept believing all the time, even when the gap was coming down fast in the finale. Our group was small, but we gave everything and I’m happy I could finish it off for the Wolfpack.”

 

Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen / Getty Images

Race details

1 Davide Ballerini
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
5:10:12
2 José Joaquín Rojas Gil
Movistar Team
0:00
3 Rui Oliveira
UAE Team Emirates
0:00
4 Mattias Skjelmose Jensen
Trek - Segafredo
0:00
5 Biniam Girmay Hailu
Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux
0:00
6 Matteo Trentin
UAE Team Emirates
0:00
7 Jake Stewart
Groupama - FDJ
0:00
8 Milan Menten
Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
0:00
9 Axel Laurance
0:00
10 Sep Vanmarcke
Israel - Premier Tech
0:00
84 Stijn Steels
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
7:01
92 Tim Declercq
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
7:01
DNF Stan Van Tricht
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
-05:10:12
1 Robert Stannard
Alpecin-Deceuninck
18:08:35
2 Loïc Vliegen
Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux
0:04
3 Mattias Skjelmose Jensen
Trek - Segafredo
0:06
4 Lorenzo Rota
Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux
0:08
5 Guillaume Martin
Cofidis
0:11
6 Greg Van Avermaet
AG2R Citroën Team
0:20
7 Cian Uijtdebroeks
BORA - hansgrohe
0:22
8 James Shaw
EF Education-EasyPost
0:28
9 Jesús Herrada López
Cofidis
0:29
10 Maxim Van Gils
Lotto Soudal
0:32
57 Davide Ballerini
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
14:51
98 Tim Declercq
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
28:35
120 Stijn Steels
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
42:50
1 Mattias Skjelmose Jensen
Trek - Segafredo
28 pt
2 Biniam Girmay Hailu
Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux
28 pt
3 Alex Aranburu Deba
Movistar Team
26 pt
4 Oier Lazkano López
Movistar Team
25 pt
5 Davide Ballerini
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
25 pt
6 Arnaud De Lie
Lotto Soudal
25 pt
7 Robert Stannard
Alpecin-Deceuninck
25 pt
8 Loïc Vliegen
Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux
20 pt
9 José Joaquín Rojas Gil
Movistar Team
20 pt
10 Axel Laurance
17 pt
1 Victor Campenaerts
Lotto Soudal
50 pt
2 Gianni Vermeersch
Alpecin-Deceuninck
44 pt
3 Oier Lazkano López
Movistar Team
30 pt
4 Lennert Teugels
Tarteletto - Isorex
28 pt
5 Rui Oliveira
UAE Team Emirates
28 pt
6 Ivo Oliveira
UAE Team Emirates
26 pt
7 José Joaquín Rojas Gil
Movistar Team
22 pt
8 Thijs Aerts
Baloise - Trek Lions
20 pt
9 Davide Ballerini
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
20 pt
10 Maxime Chevalier
14 pt
1 Robert Stannard
Alpecin-Deceuninck
18:08:35
2 Mattias Skjelmose Jensen
Trek - Segafredo
0:06
3 Cian Uijtdebroeks
BORA - hansgrohe
0:22
4 Maxim Van Gils
Lotto Soudal
0:32
5 Frederik Wandahl
BORA - hansgrohe
0:37
6 Oier Lazkano López
Movistar Team
0:49
7 Filippo Baroncini
Trek - Segafredo
1:35
8 Ben Healy
EF Education-EasyPost
2:58
9 Biniam Girmay Hailu
Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux
8:35
10 Pim Ronhaar
Baloise - Trek Lions
10:00
1 Lotto Soudal 54:29:47
2 Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux 5:02
3 BORA - hansgrohe 5:56
4 Cofidis 7:13
5 EF Education-EasyPost 7:49
6 Trek - Segafredo 8:32
7 Israel - Premier Tech 9:48
8 AG2R Citroën Team 14:17
9 Movistar Team 14:44
10 Alpecin-Deceuninck 23:54

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