Serry comes close to maiden pro victory at Tour de Wallonie
Kasper Asgreen animates day from the break and is rewarded with the intermediate sprints jersey, while Jhonatan Narvaez leads the youth standings.
Stage 2 of the Tour de Wallonie was billed as a decisive one for the general classification and it lived up to expectations, despite the winner emerging from a reduced bunch. Quick-Step Floors' Kasper Asgreen was the one to open the race after bolting clear from the group and taking with him only Nicolas Cleppe (Telenet Fidea Lions). The duo shared both the workload and the spoils, with Kasper mopping up the bonus seconds at all three intermediate sprints and the Belgian picking up maximum points on the classified climbs, as the duo eked out a five-minute maximum advantage.
The peloton reacted with 80 kilometers remaining, when they began riding a hard tempo and cutting the duo's gap to a minute inside the last hour of racing. Kasper and his breakaway companion got caught before La Tienne aux Pierres, the penultimate climb of the stage and the cue for our team to go on the attack. Pieter Serry accelerated together with two other riders, but their buffer was quickly nullified by a group which contained a strong Quick-Step Floors delegation.
Rémi Cavagna buried himself at the front to ensure the newly-formed group kept the peloton behind, and the Frenchman's efforts weren't in vain, as the lead swelled to half a minute when they entered the final ten kilometers. Enric Mas tried to shake up the group on the iconic Citadelle de Namur – the cobbled climb which in the past served as Tour de France stage finish – but the others responded and the victor was decided in a sprint where Pieter Serry took second, behind Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal), for his best result of the season, one made impressive by the fact the Tour de Wallonie is Pieter's first race in nearly a month.
"Being runner up today gives me mixed feelings and a bitter taste, but on the other hand it confirms my form, which I am very happy with, coming out of a training camp in Livigno. The stage was a very hard one, but the team did a great job, especially in the finale, chasing down the attacks, setting the pace and leading me out in the sprint", said Pieter, who is second in the general classification. "Unfortunately, I took the last corner a bit too slow, which gave Wellens an advantage. In any case, I am content with how I felt and hope to be again present at the front on Monday."
Quick-Step Floors came out of the Tour de Wallonie stage 2 with two distinctive jerseys, which will be worn by Kasper Asgreen – in fuchsia as leader of the intermediate sprints – and Jhonatan Narvaez, who will sport the red one for topping the young rider rankings.
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