Tough final stage at the BinckBank Tour into GeraardsbergenSun 19 Aug 2018
Today's lengthy final stage of the BinckBank Tour finished with a reduced group sprinting for the win despite many attacks all day.
Chris Juul-Jensen was the highest finisher in 27th place and finishes the seven-day tour in 23rd overall as Mateji Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) held on for the overall win.
Five break away
In the opening 35km of the 'Queen' stage at the BinckBank Tour, five riders jumped away from the peloton and settled into a rhyme opening up a gap over the peloton.
The group was caught after one hour of racing and a new seven rider move formed ahead.
The breakaway splits
The leading group eventually began to split and on the Denderoordberg three riders dropped the rest of their breakaway companions and maintain over one minute ahead of the peloton with 55km to go.
The iconic Muur van Geraardsbergen as expected split the peloton to pieces, with 46km to go Van Keirsulck (Wanty-Goubert) opened up a solo advantage.
After much action behind in the peloton, eventually six riders successfully made it across to the solo leader and drove the pace in the final 15km
The front group tried to put distance between themselves and the reduced bunch as Oliver Naesen (AG2R) attacked and led the race solo but 25seconds into the final 10kilometres.
Final small group into Geraardsbergen
Behind the chasers were caught and eventually the race came back together with one reduced front group battling for the win.
Juul-Jensen was the first Mitchelton-SCOTT rider in the second group on the road and took 27th place on the challenging final stage.
After wearing the red points jersey for most of the tour unfortunateley Caleb Ewan lost by just three points.
"It was a very hard stage yet again. I tried a couple of times to get away on the tough finishing circuit.
I didn’t have much to lose lying 20th on the general classification so I felt that racing aggressively was worth the effort.
"Despite getting away in some good groups we never really got a good enough gap. In the end the efforts cost me when they went in the final.
"Unfortunately we finished the week without any significant result but it wasn’t from a lack of trying."
BinckBank Tour stage 7 results:
1. Michael Matthews (TeamSunweb)
2. Greg van Avermaet (BMC)
3. Zdenek Stybar (Quickstep-Floors)
27. Chris Juul-Jensen (Mitchelton-SCOTT)
Final general classification:
1. Mateji Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida)
2. Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb)
3. Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal)
23. Chris Juul-Jensen (Mitchelton-SCOTT)
Photos courtesy of Getty Images