The Wolfpack goes on the attack multiple times on stage five.
Ilan Van Wilder made a great move on the final day of the race, attacking just before the last intermediate sprint and taking one bonus second that helped him gain a position on the general classification, where he concluded in a solid fourth place.
The day was animated by Soudal Quick-Step from the moment the flag was waved until the finish line on the 800m climb averaging 9%. Andrea Bagioli and Julian Alaphilippe joined the breakaway, and the former put in a huge ride that saw him remain in the lead until 25 kilometers to go. This brought him a well-deserved trip to the podium after the stage, where the Italian received the prize for the most combative rider.
Minutes later after the catch was made, Ilan accelerated with the intermediate sprint in sight, taking the second that elevated him in the standings. Our team continued to remain prominent, and Mauri Vansevenant rode away together with a strong group that managed to fend off the bunch despite some fierce chasing, taking fifth on the uphill finish in Luxembourg.
“I actually didn’t feel that great the whole day, but on the local laps I was better than I thought. When what turned out to be the race-winning attack, I hesitated a bit hoping the others would go. I’m a bit sad, because I am confident that I was capable of getting more today, at least a top three. The good thing is that I have a nice feeling ahead of the Italian races. Which I will do next”, explained Mauri.
The finale wasn’t that straightforward for Ilan, who hit the ground just a few kilometers from the line, but quickly remounted and with the help of his teammates he came home with the peloton.
“It was quite hectic and the pace was high, with the bunch going at full speed into that U-turn. I probably hit the brakes a bit too late and crashed when I touched a wheel, but without any consequences, so I was back on my bike soon and Dries helped me return to the group. I’m satisfied with my solid GC here, it’s another good result from which I take a lot of heart”, said Ilan after his fourth top-ten result in a stage race this season, following third in Volta ao Algarve, fourth at the Tour de Pologne, and the impressive overall win he got last month, at the Deutschland Tour.
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