André Greipel has won the first stage of the Baloise Belgium Tour on his name. He was the fastest in the sprint.
Lotto-Soudal, collapsed with the overall winner of last year off to Buggenhout, the point of departure and arrival. On the starting podium looked he back on a frustrating period. “It was frustrating to the lenteklassiekers to miss. But now, I’m full for a second victory in a row.”
The course lent itself perfectly for a sprint, the poison would leave him so in the tail to sit. After a quiet initial phase attracted six riders after 28 miles on this adventure. In addition were three Belgians: Aimé De Gendt (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Kenny Molly (Aqua Service) and Dieter Bouvry (Cibel-Cebon). They had the company of Connor Dunn (AGO-Aqua Service), Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani) and Michael Boros (Pauwels Sauces-Vastgoedservice). Much more than 2’30” ahead were the escapees or not, especially Lotto-Soudal made the pace in the peloton.
With the golden miles in sight, increased the peloton’s speed and the nervousness grew, also, afterwards. On thick 10 kilometers from the finish led to a strong crash, the victims were among more Stijn Devolder and Magnus Cort Nielsen. The Danish sprinter of Astana turned surprisingly quickly back in the peloton. The front continued to Lotto-Soudal pace, Wanty-Groupe Gobert lit a helping hand. Daan Soete (Pauwels Sauces – Vasgoedservice) tried it still only in the slotkilometers, but was overrompel.
It was as expected, so a sprint in the streets of Buggenhout. The Ed drew perfectly the sprint for André Greipel. The German was the strongest.