The longest stage in the Tour de Wallonie was scheduled for today. The riders faced 191.5 kilometres between Chaudfontaine and Seraing. With no less than eight categorised climbs along the way, this stage was another important one for the GC. In the first hour, the pace was very high and there were multiple attempts to form a breakaway, but no group got more than a twenty-second lead. After sixty kilometres, Campenaerts, Geniez, Norman Hansen, Roux and Turgis managed to escape. In the peloton, the team of race leader Thomas was setting the pace and they ensured that the maximum advantage was around three minutes. In the first of two local laps, Campenaerts, Roux and Turgis left the other two escapees behind. The three leaders started the final lap of 24 kilometres with an advantage of one minute on the peloton. They did not hold on to their lead for long in the final lap and were caught by the peloton with a little less than twenty kilometres remaining. Jasper De Buyst, Tosh Van der Sande and Jelle Vanendert tried to escape afterwards, but everything came back together for a bunch sprint. Jasper De Buyst was the fastest in this sprint! He was faster than Michael Morkov and Justin Jules. Dylan Teuns is the new GC leader. Tosh Van der Sande has moved up to the third place in the GC, only one second behind the new leader Dylan Teuns.
Jasper De Buyst: “Today was a tough stage because of the many hills, but also because of the fast-paced opening kilometres. The stage eventually ended in a sprint finish, since the finale was not suited perfectly for a breakaway. There was a lot of headwind in the kilometres after the last climb. Deep in the stage’s finale, a group of around fifteen riders tried to escape. I saw the possible danger of this attack and I made the jump to this group, but we didn’t really get away. Eventually, everything came back together for a sprint finish in which I was the fastest!”
“We have obtained our first goal in this Tour de Wallonie with this stage victory. In stage four, there will be another chance for me, but for now the focus is on tomorrow’s stage since it is an important one for the team as well. Tosh Van der Sande is currently third in the GC and Jelle Vanendert is also still in amongst the top contenders. So, I will work for them in tomorrow’s stage.”