A tough edition of Tour de l’Eurometropole
Davide Martinelli is Quick-Step Floors' top finisher at the brutal Belgian event.
Six men animated Tour de l'Eurometropole – one of the last one-day races of the season – for more than four hours, attacking after the neutral zone and opening a seven-minute gap which allowed them to stay in the lead until the penultimate lap of the race, where some of those who wanted to avoid a bunch sprint made their move on the Col de la Croix Jubaru (1000 meters, 2.6%), in the lashing rain which only added to the race's difficulty.
Inside the last ten kilometers, as the gap hovered around 20 seconds, powerhouse Tim Declercq pushed hard at the head of the severely reduced peloton to bring them back on terms with the leaders, but the final climb and the slippery roads played into the favour of the riders up front, who managed to fend off the effort of the chasers and fight for the win, which Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) took after a hectic finale.
Davide Martinelli concluded the 206km-long race as Quick-Step Floors' best finisher, crossing the line in 28th position as the bunch came home eleven seconds behind the first group.
On Sunday, Quick-Step Floors will be again in action, but this time in France, at the 72nd edition of Grand Prix d'Isbergues, where Philippe Gilbert will resume competition after two months. The experienced Belgian will be joined on the start line by Tim Declercq, Fernando Gaviria, Mikkel Honoré, Davide Martinelli, Maximiliano Richeze and Florian Sénéchal.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images