Tour de Wallonie: Quick-Step Floors firing on all cylinders
Pieter Serry and Jhonatan Narvaez are both in the top 10 overall with one stage remaining of the 45th edition.
The penultimate stage of the Tour de Wallonie (Malmedy – Herstal, 161.4 km) brought the last opportunity for the GC contenders to try their luck and throw everything in, in an attempt to reshuffle the overall standings on a day that packed eight classified climbs, last three of which – Côte de la Vieille Voie, Côte de Vivegnis and Côte de l'Abbaye – featured in the closing 12 kilometers.
Quick-Step Floors made the first move long before that, sending Rémi Cavagna to the attack with more than 30 kilometers to go. The powerful Frenchman bridged across the original breakaway with remarkable ease and even put in another surge, splitting the lead group and forcing an already thinned out peloton to react. When Rémi's job was done, neo-pro James Knox put in a massive attack on the seventh ascent of the day, isolating the yellow jersey from his teammates and reducing the peloton to just ten riders.
Only a big effort could bring back James before the top of the climb, before a regrouping took place on the descent. In spite of a brace of attacks on the final hill, the stage finished in a sprint, played out between fast men and GC riders, won by Quentin Hermans (Telenet Fidea Lions), now the new overall leader of the Tour de Wallonie.
Pieter Serry was again the top finisher of Quick-Step Floors, taking fourth, a result that underlined his strong form coming out of an altitude training camp in Livigno and which kept the 29-year-old Belgian on the podium ahead of the final day, which on paper shouldn't bring any changes to the overall standings.
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