Lampaert climbs to Belgium Tour podium
Despite crashing, the 25-year-old still had a strong day in his home race.
Taking place over a flat course, stage 2 of the Belgium Tour (Buggenhout – Knokke-Heist, 174.5 kilometers) was almost guaranteed to produce a bunch sprint, so for that reason the two men who went to the front – Ludwig De Winter (Wallonie-Bruxelles) and Brian Van Goethem (Roompot Oranje) – didn't enjoy an advantage bigger than 3:30. The duo remained in the lead until after the golden kilometer, which saw Van Goethem collect nine seconds, and as soon as they were reeled in, the sprinters' team made sure of not letting anyone or anything else (not even a crash which occurred with two kilometers to go) to foil their plans.
The uphill finish was a nervous one, and eventually Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) came out on top after beating Daniel McLay (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) and Kenny Dehaes (Wanty-Groupe Gobert). In the general classification, Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice) kept the led, but two of Etixx – Quick-Step's riders are right behind him, Tony Martin, who was runner-up in the Beveren prologue, and Yves Lampaert. The Belgian began the day in 5th place, but took back a second at an intermediate sprint and jumped on the podium, just four seconds adrift. Unfortunately, Yves wasn't all smiles at the finish, because he too was among the ones involved in the crash.
"It was an easy day – with a small breakaway which the peloton controlled – that is until the final kilometers, when many riders went to the ground in that hectic sprint. I got hit by another rider's bike and got a cut to my fingers, but I had a few stitches and hopefully I won't have any problems tomorrow, when I want to be again at the front for the team", said Yves Lampaert ahead of stage 3 (Knokke-Heist – Knokke-Heist, 200.9 kilometers).
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele