Ster ZLM Toer Stage 3: Lampaert 2nd in Hilly Stage Sprint Conclusion
Etixx - Quick-Step rider Yves Lampaert finished 2nd in the 186.7km sprint finale of Ster ZLM Toer Jan van Heeswijk Stage 3, from Verviers to La Gileppe on Saturday. The stage finished with small gaps between riders on a hilly stage with the climbs of the Ardennes.
Moreno Hofland (Lotto NL - Jumbo) won the stage ahead of Lampaert by a second, with Zico Waeytens (Giant-Alpecin) 3rd. Only 12 riders arrived with Lampaert, as the next rider was 5" down, and the group after that was 10" down on the stage winner.
The race came back together with 16km to go, but there was plenty of action that followed including the peloton splitting as well as attacks. Nikolas Maes tried to attack with Bob Ruijgh (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace). The duo had an advantage of 20" with less than 2.5km to go. However, the race came back together again with 1km to go in the stage. Lampaert was in good position to go for a podium placing after an up-and-down day on the road.
Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to a final 183.1km flat stage on Sunday, from Eindhoven to Boxtel.
"Today was a stage of the Ardennes with climbs like Le Rosier and La Redoute, as well as the finish on La Gileppe," Lampaert said. "It was an uphill finish, but at the end of the day it came down to almost a bunch sprint. I was in good position for the victory, I think. I received really good help from Nikolas Maes and Fabio Sabatini to put me in position. But Moreno Hofland is a better sprinter than me and he won. Still, I think we did a good race, and the whole week I've been there in the actions. Tomorrow is the last stage. It's flat, but you never know what can happen in cycling. We'll do our best for a good result."