Eneco Tour Stage 7: Van Keirsbulck Wins Solo, OPQS Wraps up Race with 1st, 2nd, & 4th!
OPQS was determined for a race victory at the 183.4km Eneco Tour Stage 7 on Sunday, putting three riders in a 20-rider breakaway that ultimately decided the hilly stage from Riemst to Sittard-Geleen.
Guillaume Van Keirsbulck took his chance with 34km to go, attacking out of the group and immediately getting a gap. Matteo Trentin and Julien Vermote were there in the group behind in case his risk was unsuccessful. However, his risk came with the ultimate reward: A solo victory that gave him the first UCI WorldTour win of his career. He crossed the line 46" ahead of the chase group with his teammates.
OPQS wasn't done, however. Matteo Trentin launched a well-timed sprint for 2nd, and Julien Vermote finished 4th. Race tactics of the team were executed to perfection.
The Belgian rider's win was the 56th overall (54th road) for OPQS in 2014.
"I knew what I was getting into, and that it was far from the finish," Van Keirsbulck said. "But the wind suits me, so that's why I decided to go and time trial to the line. This is by far the most beautiful win of my career. I never expected I could get a WorldTour win this year, which makes this special. After Paris-Roubaix I had a hard time finding my rhythm again. This win is everything for me as a Belgian guy in a race like this. It's really important for my morale. I'm also so happy, after Styby's crash, to end this Eneco Tour with a positive vibe. I hope he knows we wanted a win for him here and we got it. Even better, we had three guys in the top five. I'd like to thank Julien and Matteo for working to protect my advantage in the chase group behind. It was an amazing day for the whole team and I've never been prouder to wear the colors of OPQS."
Niki Terpstra, as consequence of improper behavior during the race, was disqualified.
"I'm sorry for what I did," Terpstra said. "I don't know who I was in that moment. I want to apologize first to Wynants and Team Belkin, because I put other riders in jeopardy with my actions and it is something you simply don't do in the peloton. But I want to also apologize to my team and the guys who were specifically here racing at the Eneco Tour. They worked hard for me all week and then I ruined their effort with this foolish action. I take full responsibility for my behavior. Everybody knows I'm a guy with a lot of charisma, but it does not turn into abrasive behavior on the bike that can harm others. Today was out of character. I'll take this as an important lesson on how to handle situations the right way for the sake of myself, my team, other teams in the peloton, and cycling in general including the fans."