At the Baloise Belgium Tour team Véranda’s Willems-Crélan on STEVENS Xenon made quite an impression with two third places in the first two stages. Tim Merlier prevailed in the final bunch sprints in Buggenhout and Knokke-Heist behind stage winner André Greipel using his good legs and keen eyes for the right rear wheel. In addition, the eighth place of team mate Sean De Bie on the second stage helped the Pro Continental team to meanwhile hold first rank in the overall team classification.
The third stage asked for time trial skills, though. Sean De Bie gave proof of his qualities as an all-rounder on his STEVENS Super Trofeo. He was able to keep in the top-ten, placed eighth while the overall ranking otherwise was shaken up quite significantly.
On day four of five the ”snipers” had a bad day. They just weren’t able to influence the course of the race. None of the riders were present in the 20-strong head group that featured many GC riders. Sean De Bies’ chase group eventually did not manage to catch up. To add injury to insult Dries De Bondt crashed in a curve and broke his nose. STEVENS wishes him a speedy recovery.
The final fifth stage was a case for the sprinters in which Tim Merlier by finishing 11th delivered a reasonable performance.
At the time the team is preparing for the Tour of Luxembourg (UCI 2.HC) starting this Wednesday. Many other Pro Continental Teams will be at the start of this five-day (prologue plus four stages) stage race. The line-up will feature Sean de Bie, Dries de Bondt, Stijn Devolder, Huub Duijn, Mathias de Witte, Arjen Livyns and – after a break from racing, back again - Wout van Aert.