BinckBank Tour: So close for Lampaert in Lanaken
After attacking late in the stage, the Belgian ITT Champion was caught by the peloton just 100 meters from the line.
Yves Lampaert has animated what has been a long and rain-soaked stage 4 of the BinckBank Tour, one which started and finished in Lanaken, a small team in the Limburg province. It was also the last opportunity for sprinters to get in the mix, so their teams moved to the front of the bunch early on the day and controlled the three-man escape, as well as the two riders who attacked inside the final 15 kilometers, after the original breakaway was shut down.
Everything was pointing to a quiet bunch sprint, but Yves Lampaert had other plans, and the 26-year-old Belgian attacked with four kilometers to go, knowing that the wet and technical roads could play in his favour. This brave effort helped Yves gain eight seconds inside the final two kilometers, but once the chasers got organized, the gap began to drop and the peloton had Lampaert in their sight with 500 meters left.
The Dwars door Vlaanderen champion kept on pushing, despite the short drag to the finish, believing in his chance of taking a maiden BinckBank Tour victory, only to get caught with only 100 meters remaining, just as the sprinters were opening their kick. Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) took the spoils, followed by Marko Kump (UAE Team Emirates) and Tim Merlier (Verandas Willems), while an exhausted Yves crossed the line heartbroken after coming close to a spectacular victory.
"It was a hard and fast race from the start, as everybody was nervous due to the heavy rain. A bunch sprint was in the cards, but I wanted to try something four kilometers from home, because I knew there was a technical section there. I opened a small gap and tried to hang onto it, but the road going up in the final kilometer didn't help and I was caught", explained Yves, who saw the glass half full after his stage 4 attempt. "I am happy for trying, as this gives me confidence for the last three days of the race. Tomorrow will be a really tough stage – left, right, up and down – and the GC guys should come to the fore and make the day a hectic one."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele