Posted by Editoress on 05/24/17
Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) won the first stage of the Baloise Belgium Tour at De Wandelaar in Knokke-Heist. The Frenchman took it in a spring over Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) and Daniel McLay( Fortuneo - Vital Concept).
One hundred and fifty-five riders left Lochristi for the first stage of the Baloise Belgium Tour from Lochristi to Knokke-Heist. Despite the summer temperatures, the peloton quickly accelerated. The result: an average speed of 55 kilometres in the first half hour.
After passing the first sprint - won by Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) - the break of the day formed. The five riders soon opened a four-minute lead. The group consisted of: Lasse Norman Hansen (Aqua-Blue Sport), Kenneth Vanbilsen (Cofidis), Ludwig De Winter (Veranclassic), Brian Van Goethem (Roompot Dutch Lottery) and Timothy Stevens (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice).
In the peloton, Quick Step held the control. At twenty miles from the finish, most of the escapees were again back in the bunch. Hansen, as the last survivor of the early break took the final sprint points. Then an attack by Gilbert and Oliver Naesen went but they only managed a gain of two seconds
A group with Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) and Tim Declercq (Quick-Step Floors) attacked trying to avoid the inevitable large group sprint at the finish. The effort was in vain. Lotto-Soudal carefully prepared the sprint for Jens Debusschere, but it was Bryan Coquard who had the most power on De Wandelaar. Unfortunately a massive crash on the straight meant only a limited group sprinted for the win.
Coquard is automatically the first GC leader.
Stage 1 of the Baloise Belgium Tour in Belgium
|Stage 1: Lochristi to Knokke-Heist, 178.8 km|
|1 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie||4:08:58|
|2 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|3 Daniel Mclay (GBr) Fortuneo - Vital Concept|
|4 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Team Belgium|
|5 Roy Jans (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect|
|6 Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise|
|7 Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin|
|8 Michaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|9 Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert|
|10 Nicolas Marini (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini|
|11 Piet Allegaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise|
|12 Joeri Stallaert (Bel) Cibel - Cebon|
|13 Tom Meeusen (Bel) Beobank - Corendon|
|14 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors|
|15 Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise|
|16 Oliver Naesen (Bel)Team Belgium|
|17 Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij|
|18 Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo|
|19 Kevin Ista (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect|
|20 Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept|
|104 Antoine Duchesne (Can) Direct Energie||all s.t.|
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