Dylan Teuns secured the first stage race win of his career in emphatic style today by attacking on the final climb to secure both his second stage win and the overall victory at the VOO Tour de Wallonie.
Order resumed on stage 5 with riders once again battling to make the breakaway stick before finally, after 35km of racing, five riders were able to go clear and begin to build up an advantage over the rest of the field.
However, with Huub Duyn (Vérandas Willems-Crelan), who was sitting 1’31” back on the General Classification, making the selection, BMC Racing Team kept the race under control and never allowed the gap to rise beyond 3’30” over the first 100km, of the 182.6km course.
With 70km to go, the chase began to heat up, and with Miles Scotson setting the pace, the leaders were brought to within 30 seconds as they went over the top of the Mur de Thuin and crossed the finish line for the first time.
As the bell rang to mark the start of the final 12km circuit around Thuin, the peloton had brought the remaining breakaway riders within sight before Nicolas Maes (Lotto Soudal) attacked to bridge across to Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondiale), Lasse Norman Hansen (Aqua Blue Sport) and Duyn.
BMC Racing Team continued to keep control, and with 5km to go, only Gougeard was left dangling off the front of the bunch, and he was eventually swept up as the race headed towards a fast finale.
Positioning was crucial as the riders turned onto the bottom of the cobbled climb and, after being protected by Loïc Vliegen, Teuns was well-placed up at the front before once again proving what he is capable of by launching an impressive attack.
Teuns’ strength and determination shone through as he continued to power up the climb, distancing himself from the rest of the field further before sitting up to celebrate his second stage win and an emphatic overall victory.
The Winner’s Interview with Dylan Teuns
Congratulations, Dylan. Can you describe how you are feeling after today’s victory?
“I’m not sure if I can believe what I have just achieved. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Coming into today was the stage win on your mind?
“The main goal today was the GC but to take the stage win as well is incredible. It couldn’t have been a better day, and everything went perfectly.”
“The guys did a fantastic job again. There was one rider in the breakaway who was dangerous overall so we couldn’t let them go too far up the road. We needed to keep the gap under control but, in the end, we still had guys in the final. I am so proud of the team. They did everything for me.”
Talk us through the final climb up Mur de Thuin.
“Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto – Soudal), who was second on the GC, tried to attack on the final climb which was natural. He had a small gap on the cobbles, so it wasn’t easy to close, but once I found my rhythm, I had more speed and was able to go up and over. I was going full gas over the top of the climb, and then I looked back and saw that I had a gap. Marco Pinotti then started to cheer me on in the radio, and I knew I just had to go. I took the opportunity to win my second stage and my second professional victory.”
Does this win give you a lot of confidence looking ahead to the rest of the season?
“Definitely. It is a great feeling, and it is the first stage race win of my career. I won two stages in the yellow jersey here, and that is amazing. I am definitely going to try and enjoy this win before I head to my next race.”
Quotes From the Finish Line
Sports Director, Marco Pinotti:
“The team did an incredible job today, and in the end, Dylan Teuns showed that he is in great form. I am really happy for him. It was a bit of a nervous start, but we expected that. After 35km, a strong five-rider breakaway formed and it included one rider who was dangerous in terms of the GC. Immediately, we put Miles Scotson and Floris Gerts on the front, and they did a very good job of controlling the race and managed to keep the gap to around three minutes. I was really impressed with the work of everyone today. When the race came back together, we saw that it was a good opportunity for Dylan to go for the stage win and Jempy Drucker and Loïc Vliegen gave up their own opportunities to work for him. A piece of the yellow jersey belongs to everyone after today.”
“Coming into this race, we knew everybody was in great shape, and they showed that all the work they have put in over their mid-season break has paid off. Everyone should take a lot of confidence from how they were riding this week.”