Vermote comes close to victory in Fourmies
A late attack of the Belgian spread panic in the peloton, which reeled him in only inside the final kilometer.
Quick-Step Floors rode an aggressive Grand Prix de Fourmies on Sunday afternoon, sending Pieter Serry and Petr Vakoč in a large breakaway which put up a stern fight against the peloton and led the race for 180 kilometers, despite the fact that the advantage they held over the chasers didn't go north of five minutes. It was only on the final loop that they got caught by the charging pack, but Quick-Step Floors – who had to change the tactic after Marcel Kittel's abandon – continued to be omnipresent and set the tempo of the race.
Gianluca Brambilla attacked on the undulating roads of northern France with nine kilometers remaining and was joined by several other riders, but they were reabsorbed with three kilometers to go. Dries Devenyns then made a move and opened up a gap, before being joined by a handful of men, including teammate and fellow countryman Julien Vermote.
The group possessed a slim lead over the peloton, which was coming really strong from behind, but just before the catch was made, Julien took off and left everything on the road in his all-in attempt to foil the sprinters' plans. Unfortunately for the 28-year-old Belgian, he was reeled in under the flamme rouge and the race concluded with a bunch gallop won by Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis). Best Quick-Step Floors rider at the end of the day was Gianluca Brambilla, who came home in 12th place.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele