"Very proud to win a WorldTour stage race for the 4th consecutive year"

Tim Wellens closes road season with win of Tour of Guangxi
The Tour of Guangxi has ended with another bunch sprint in the last stage that finished in Guilin. Lotto Soudal controlled this last race and brought Tim Wellens safely to the finish line. That way the Belgian closed the road cycling season by adding the inaugural Chinese WorldTour race on his tally. For Wellens it's already the fourth consecutive season he wins a WorldTour stage race. “Something to be very proud of”, he says.

Tim Wellens told he already made a goal of this stage race this summer. After a disappointing Tour de France due to health issues he started focusing on the remaining races on the calendar. An extraordinary shape during August, September and October was the result. He started with a win in the Queen stage of the BinckBank Tour and ended 2nd in the GC after Maglia Rosa winner Tom Dumoulin. In Québec he secured a 5th place and afterwards he won the GP de Wallonie. But an overall win in a stage race still lacked on this year’s tally. Almost becoming a tradition to win one, as he did the last three years, he wanted to add the Tour of Guangxi to that list.

The Tour of Guangxi offered magnificent scenery and undiscovered views for a WorldTour peloton (have a look at the slideshow below). The whole pack was racing through cities inhabited by millions of people, through Chinese artworks and through nature beyond belief. During the first stage Lotto Soudal acted rather invisible, but in stage two Thomas De Gendt, who else, went in a breakaway. The day after the team again remained more silent. But at stage four Tim took the win at the beautiful arrivée in Mashan. Lotto Soudal tried to control the fifth stage and thanks to his team and his own reply to attacks in the front he managed to keep the leader’s jersey. The last stage ending in Guilin was also subject to control of Lotto Soudal and Wellens rode over the finish line as the winner.

That way he wins a WorldTour stage race for the fourth consecutive year, after winning the Eneco Tour in 2014 and 2015 and the Tour of Poland last year. “The final of today’s race was again hectic as another crash took place. Luckily no one of Lotto Soudal was involved so we could ride safely to the finish line at the end. I am very proud that I can win a WorldTour stage race for the fourth year in row now. The team performed very strong, it definitely wasn’t an easy win”, according to Wellens.