Top 5 for Vakoc in Haut Var
Our young Czech rider was in the mix on the last stage, which saw him get his best result of the year, as well as the young riders classification.
Last stage of the Tour du Haut Var was a tough one, with six climbs on the menu, which sparked a serious selection in the final 30 kilometers, when even GC leader Tom-Jelte Slagter (Cannondale) was gapped. The race unfolded at a fast pace, with riders attacking all over the place and crossing swords, especially as the finish line was approaching. In the last kilometer, Arthur Vichot (FDJ) proved to be the strongest from the reduced group to arrive in Draguignan, and took the stage win as well as the overall glory, outsprinting Spain's Jesus Herrada (Movistar).
After being in the thick of the action on Saturday, Etixx – Quick-Step was again one of the protagonists, with the likes of Petr Vakoč and Maxime Bouet in aggressive mode in the last hour of racing, throwing caution in the wind and rising to the challenge. As a result, they both notched a top 10 placing, after arriving in the same time as the winner. Vakoč, the 2015 Czech champion, took 5th in the general classification, together with the best young rider jersey, while Bouet, who is in his second season with the team, came 9th.
"Today I was in the front group with Maxime, who tried to jump clear a couple of times, but without any luck", Vakoč said. "The sprint wasn't easy, as the road was a bit downhill. I tried to find a gap, but I was boxed in and couldn't really sprint. I'm a bit disappointed with the result, but on the other hand I'm happy of how we rode in these two days and of my condition. I felt pretty good and I'm now looking forward to my next race, La Provence. It's the first time I'm riding in this region and I like it; it's a nice experience that will be useful for the upcoming races."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele