Étoile de bessèges : Tim Wellens Final winner

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 Étoile de bessèges : Tim Wellens Final winner
Published on 2021-02-08 09:17:25
Updated on 2021-02-08 09:19:30
Tim Wellens didn't let the final victory slip away in the Étoile de Bessèges time trial. Obviously very fit at the start of the season, the Trudonnaire even finished fourth in the stage. 
His very good performance allowed him to extend his lead by a few seconds in the general classification.
As yesterday, the stage victory went to Italy’s Filippo Ganna. Michal Kwiatkowski and Nils Politt accompany Wellens on the final podium. The last stage was contested in the form of an individual 10 kilometer time-lapse with a finish perched at the top of a final difficulty.
Early in the day, Briton Ethan Hayter set a very good first benchmark time with a time of 15’21 ’’. But the victory was promised to his teammate Ganna who covered ten kilometers in 15 minutes exactly.
This is the second success in a row for the world time trial champion. Tim Wellens, the starting leader at Alès, started last to defend his 45 ’lead over his closest rivals. Wellens struggled to finish fourth on the day, 29 ’’ behind Ganna.
A performance that also saw him relegate Kwiatkowski to 53 ’’ in the final standings.

Tim wellens
“This final victory was largely achieved at the end of the 3rd stage. 
To start the final stopwatch with more than 40 seconds in advance was quite comfortable. This morning already, I felt that I had good legs, but I was above all very motivated.
You should know that Vic Swerts, founder and owner of Soudal, is celebrating his 81st birthday today and I wanted to give him this gift. This time suited me very well.
I developed an average power greater than planned and I was finally able to clinch the final victory. The fact of having recognized the course before the race obviously served me well today.
I knew that the final classification of the Etoile de Bessèges would be decided at the end of this stage. The team had therefore sent someone there before the race, everything was organized to perfection.
I would like to thank the whole team for their very good work this week. It is promising for the rest of the season. "

Lotto Soudal
Tim Wellens

Guillaume Martin wins the Tour de l'Ain

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At the start of this 2nd stage of the 34th edition of the Tour de l'Ain, 142.5 km were on the program. 4 difficulties were listed including 2 passage up the Col de Portes and a finish after a final descent to Lagnieu. The Cofidis team had already worked the day before during the sprint to protect Guillaume Martin, allowing him to arrive in the peloton and thus not lose time on the favorites. A revenge on bad luck It was a small breakaway that formed early in the stage. It was quickly controlled so that the favorites could play for victory and the overall classification. At the briefing, the plan was precise : Start riding and displaying their ambitions on the 3rd climb of the day, the Côte de Seillonnaz to put Guillaume Martin in orbit. Around him, Ruben Fernandez, François Bidard and then Rémy Rochas (victim of a fall without gravity during the 1st stage) did not count their efforts to support their leader. In the last kilometer, Guillaume Martin produced his effort in turn. His acceleration is decisive: the Norman can raise his arms, finally, as an illustration of the collective strength of the team. Everyone knows that the taste of victory is rare in cycling, making victory even more beautiful. Guillaume Martin had not won since the Mercan'Tour Classic last year, and now has 8 professional successes to his credit. This moment of joy is also a revenge on bad luck, a few weeks after his hasty departure from the Tour de France due to a positive test for Covid-19. Now, the team will work hard, again, to defend its leader's jersey and give Cofidis another stage race victory this season. They said Guillaume Martin: "I'm obviously very happy to have been able to...

A stage on the GIRO for Thomas De Gendt

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Thomas De Gendt adds another memorable victory to his list. In the eighth stage of the Giro, with departure and arrival in Naples, De Gendt, with his teammates Harm Vanhoucke and Sylvain Moniquet, was part of a breakaway of more than twenty riders. On a difficult circuit around Monte Procida, the early breakaway gradually thinned out and after some tactical play five riders broke away, including teammates De Gendt and Vanhoucke. The five riders never got much ahead of the first pursuers and in the last kilometers, the Van der Poel - Girmay duo almost came back. It was finally Vanhoucke who started the sprint for De Gendt to finish the job. This is his second stage victory in the Giro, ten years after his first on the legendary ascent of the Stelvio. "Today I really had a great day and with three teammates in the breakaway we were able to play a bit," said De Gendt afterwards. "We played perfectly. Due to illness and bad luck, I haven't been able to achieve the performances I wanted in recent years and that's why this win feels maybe even more special than the one on the Stelvio." "I even doubted that I would come to the start of this Giro in good shape. But this victory proves that I am back. This stage reminded me of Barcelona's stage during the Volta a Catalunya. The succession of climbs where it's hard to recover suits me well, so I rode at a tight pace the whole time to really give no one a break." "I know I'm fast after a stage like this, I still felt strong and I bet on the sprint. Harm played the team game perfectly in the last kilometers with Van der Poel and Girmay who were really getting closer. Three hundred meters from the finish, I gave it my all and that...


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