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Pascal Eenkhoorn has finished fifth in the queen stage of the Tour of Wallonia. After this third stage the Dutchman is also fifth in the general classification. Dylan Groenewegen lost his leader’s jersey to stage winner Quinn Simmons.
Initially, the stage was to start in Plombières, but the course was changed due to the recent floods. Alternatively, the start took place at the highest point of Belgium, the Signal de Botrange. On the way to the finish in Érezée, the Côte de Beffe was the highlight and had to be climbed twice in the last 40 kilometres.
The breakaway of the day consisted of three riders. They got a maximum lead of almost seven minutes. The efforts on the hilly route took their toll and at thirty kilometres from the finish they were caught. Meanwhile Timo Roosen rode attentively at the front and parried several attacks from the reduced peloton. On the Côte de Beffe Groenewegen had to let the rest go. Christoph Pfingsten had to withdraw sick.
Together with Stan Dewulf Simmons escaped from the peloton. In a group of three, Eenkhoorn sprinted to fifth place in the stage result. After stage three the Dutchman is in the same place in the general classification. Tomorrow and Saturday are two stages that seem to suit the sprinters.
“I felt good throughout the day”, Eenkhoorn said after his fifth place finish. “It was a tough race with the Côte de Beffe at ten kilometres from the end was crucial. I worked towards that. I came over the top with the first ones. Then it was a tactical game where I came with three riders behind the two leaders. The cooperation was not great and unfortunately we could not ride for the victory. In the last difficult kilometre I started my sprint a bit too early. I am satisfied with fifth place. This is a boost. I am looking forward to competing for prizes here.”
"I am satisfied with fifth place. This is a boost."
Sports director Addy Engels was satisfied. “This was the toughest stage of this tour. I am happy that some of our guys were able to stay in the front for a long time. Also Tim van Dijke and Rick Pluimers, who normally race for our U23 team, presented themselves in a good way today. The fifth place of Pascal is very good. We knew this stage would be too hard for Dylan, but he stayed in front for a long time. The only blemish of the day is that we lost Christoph. He was unable to continue due to illness.”
"The fifth place of Pascal is very good."