Five compatriots in the top twenty of the Walloon Arrow: it must be an eternity ago, but with Bjorg Lambrecht (4th), Jelle Vanendert (9th), Dylan Teuns (14th), Laurens de Plus (15th) and Tim Wellens (17th) gave the Belgians a collective glansprestatie. Only the icing on the cake – a podium finish had enough – was missing.
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After the handsome sixth place of Bjorg Lambrecht Sunday in the Amstel Gold Race drove the 22-year-old Meetjeslander in the Walloon Pïjl to a fine fourth place. “It’s incredible”, called the pocket-climber performance. “Fifth in the Brabantse pijl last Sunday, sixth in the Amstel, now this result, it is something I only could dream of this winter. I have everything out of myself pressed on the final climb. Now I am perhaps right and eye I fresh, but hey, I was still against the balustrade! If I have to take the stage would be in Liège on Sunday, we would my year have passed”.
Jelle Vanendert (9th): “As a team we rode a good price”
Jelle Vanendert showed himself to be just like last year, again on the Wall of Huy but climbed up this time with less head-long. What eventually resulted in a ninth place. “I rode at the head of the first hectometers of the Wall of Huy, but unlike last year, there was more headwind. Not ideal to get up so early to head to sit,” said the 34-year-old Limburger. “On the other hand, we were then immediately placed with Bjorg Lambrecht. That is the fourth, and I drive top ten, so that’s definitely not bad.”
“We were all three (Vanendert, Lambrecht and Tim Wellens, ed.) well and sat with two man in that group of twenty-five. As a team we rode a good race, but at the foot of such a slope, start with Julian Alaphilippe in the group… Then you know that he is hard to beat. There is seriously gekoerst, for that group of 25, we were already gone with 15 people. Lambrecht clever fourth? I hope that he has something of me can learn.” (laughs)
Dylan Teuns (14th): “Not a great day, but riders rises”
Dylan Teuns was fourteenth after being in 2017 have third, and last year’s disappointment with a thirtieth place. After the finish said the 27-year-old Limburger echterniet really disappointed. “I had no super day and could in the end not more speed.”
“I started a little too early to my acceleration uphill”, he gave in after text and explanation. “At about 250 to 300 yards I went to, but I lost my speed at 100 to 150 metres and then passed me four or five riders, so I ultimately not a top ten pick. I had no super day. I have that, then I might speed up at the end. But now I couldn’t do that.”
“I’m already happy that it runs better than the previous two matches (64th in the Amstel Gold Race, 66th in the Brabant Arrow, red)”, he concluded. “This is just a track that me very well. Sunday was very aggressive gekoerst and that was really difficult. The Walloon Arrow is me better. It’s going slowly in the right direction, but I can’t promise anything for next Sunday in Liège. It is good, but it can still be better.”
Laurens De Plus (15th): “I have made my own way had to find, took forces”
“Fifteenth. In advance I had hoped for top 10, but here I have to be satisfied”, responded Laurens De Plus. “I had a whole day with a good feeling and felt after the second time The Wall of Huy that there are still dash on sat. On the final climb, I sat a little too far positioned on the foot, I was in the last loop is also the only one of our team. That I my way had to find, took forces. I still have a couple of riders picked up, but must admit that I little to much of a climber and something too little explosiveness for such a steep climb as the Wall of Huy. I try all the time pace to drive, but I can’t explode such as Bjorg Lambrecht. Came the Walloon Arrow is not on the Wall of Huy I made more chance, so next Sunday in Liège, I will be even better for the day. I am still but since Friday back of hoogtestage in function of the Giro and it will not be until Sunday, really of that effect can benefit.”
Tim Wellens (17th): “The intention was to have the course hard to make”
Tim Wellens started side-by-side with Jelle Vanendert in the last Wall of Huy but dropped there in the final with a 17th place as a result: “The intention was to have the course hard to make, and always in the attack to drive, Jelle would the Wall start with Bjorg (Lambrecht) and me in the wheel. That worked out well and Bjorg has a very nice finishing sprint, though. Superknap, he is very busy and I think he was in Liege is also close by will be.”
“On the way, it was pretty tricky with that wind, there was a few times tried impellers to withdraw but failed, but that wind made it very tricky. Marczynski fell perfectly according to plan even in the finals, so we are in a office sat. I have a doubt to go along but found it a bit too far, so I have been waiting for the Wall of Huy. I felt good, I wanted also to attack on the Côte de Cherave but with the wind against would be that few have taken.”