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Quentin Hermanns wins Queen's Tour of Balois Belgium with impressive final race, Mauro Schmid is hardly new leader

Quentin Hermanns wins Queen’s Tour of Balois Belgium with impressive final race, Mauro Schmid is hardly new leader

Quentin Hermans won the Queen stage at the Balois Tour of Belgium. In the final race on the Derby’s local circuit, the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert was clearly the strongest among the leading group of six riders. Mauro Schmid came second and is close to the new leader in the general classification. Tim Willens, who finished third, is barely behind the Swiss by five milliseconds.

Despite the sweltering temperatures, the Queen stage of the Baloise Belgium Tour was completely completed. Riders are provided with a 40-kilometer local track with no fewer than six slopes: the Champs des Hêtres, the Côte de Petit Somme, the Côte de Bende, the Côte de Hermanne, the Côte Grand Houmart and, finally, the Mur de Durbuy. Good for riding around 3000 altimeters: a very tedious task even without heat.

He quickly chose the five knights of the herd. The former Belgian champion, Dries de Bondt, was joined by a compatriot with Tom Van Asbruck, French Quentin Guerguey, Italian Marco Tisa and Dean Tobias Lund. However, they did not get much progress.

Six men in pursuit

Halfway through the stage, the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert finale opened early. Lots of riders had to get off and a group of about ten guys broke free, including leader Mads Pedersen, Quentin Hermans and Tim Wells. The group did not stand at the front for a long time, after which Hermans again set fire to it. This time with success: his teammate Lorenzo Rota went, as did the Lotto Soudal duo Tim Wellens and Victor Campenaerts. Mauro Schmid and Rasmus Teller complete the six. Chief Pedersen had to withdraw.

The six pursuers joined the five chiefs 70 kilometers from the end. Gradually the leading group was weakened: in the end Hermanns, Ruta Willens, Campinarts, Schmid and the amazing de Bondt would remain. Of course there was also the race with the final classification in mind: In the default standings, Willens was the new leader, just 4 seconds ahead of Schmid and 22 over Hermanns.

hundreds difference

Peloton did not give up with Pedersen and got close to the leaders, but in the end the Six would remain in the lead. Hermanns took the full booty during the three sprints in the Golden Kilometer. De Bondt actually tried to shoot twice on the final stage, but eventually made it to a sprint on Mur de Durbuy. Obviously, Hermann was the strongest at this.

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Mauro Schmid (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) came in second just a few meters away and is the hardly new leader. New second man Tim Wells, who crossed the line in third, is barely five milliseconds behind the Swiss. Quentin Hermans follows in eight seconds.

The final stage is scheduled to begin on Sunday, a flat stage in Limburg. Riders must travel 182 km between Gingelom and Bringen. Can Wellens or anyone else in him steal the overall victory from Schmid?

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