News: Gallopin wins Grand Prix de Wallonie


Getting stronger each day in the Tour of Britain, Tony Gallopin was the strongest in the Grand Prix de Wallonie winning from Petr Vakoc and Jérôme Baugnies

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News: Gallopin wins Grand Prix de Wallonie


The start of the 57th edition of the Grand Prix de Wallonie was given under the blazing sun in Beaufays and there were soon nine leaders enjoying a maximum advantage of almost six minutes.  Lotto Soudal and Etixx – Quick-Step took the responsibility to control the peloton and chase down the nine riders in front. The leading group was reeled in on the Côte de Lustin and that’s where the finale started.

On the next climb, a new series of attacks split the peloton and seven riders managed to get away. Tony Gallopin represented Lotto Soudal in the front group. They stayed away until the foot of the Côte de la Citadelle de Namur.

Tony Gallopin rode attentively at the front when several riders attacked and Gallopin reacted. He set a high pace and dropped the other riders. It looked like he was riding solo to the finish line, but with fifty metres to go, Petr Vakoc came really close to nicking the win but in the sprint for the victory, the Frenchman of Lotto Soudal won just ahead of the Czech rider.

It was the first win for Gallopin in 2016.
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Tony Gallopin: “The team did a perfect job today. All day long we were positioned on the first rows of the peloton chasing down the front group. The attack on the second last climb of the race was a good starting point. We were with seven good riders and we managed to create a small gap pretty fast. Bakelants was very good today. He was the one that set up the breakaway and his teammate Pozzovivo was among us as well.

We worked together but it wasn’t perfect. That’s the reason why we were reeled in at the foot of the citadel. When we were caught by the peloton I had a moment to recover. I found my own pace and I moved up to the fifteenth position. The further we went uphill, the better I felt and the better I was positioned in the bunch. At a certain moment I felt ready to attack once again and I gave everything I had.

Two years ago I finished second on the citadel. I couldn’t take the victory home. This climb suits me very well. In the last fifty metres Vakoc came really close and the stress was getting to me. Fortunately I went fast enough to bring home the victory.”

“The team gave me permission to change my program because I wanted to focus on the European Championships that are coming up this Sunday. That’s why I didn’t participate in the races in Canada. Instead I chose to ride the Tour of Britain before I came here for the Grand Prix de Wallonie. It feels really good to know that the team trusts me. In the Tour of Britain I felt better every day. I hoped to win a stage there, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. But my focus is on Sunday, that’s when I want to be really good.”

Petr Vakoc: “I am very disappointed, because the opportunity to take the victory was there. Grand Prix de Wallonie is a race I really like, suited to my characteristics and I was hoping to win it. The team did an excellent job throughout the day, protecting me and always keeping me out of the wind”, said Petr.

“When Tony attacked, I was a little bit boxed in and couldn’t follow him immediately, so I lost the momentum. Once I found the space to go, I took off, gained ground back, but couldn’t pass him on the line, so congrats to him. It’s a pity, because the form was there, but on the other hand it motivates me even more for the European Championships in Bretagne, where I am ready to give 100%, just as I did today.”

Jérôme Baugnies (Wanty Gobert): “It is a good result for the team. I could get a better result but it remains positive for the Tour de l’Eurométropole and Binche-Chimay-Binche”, Jérôme Baugnies explained. “I waited too long. I wanted to play everything on one move. I think it was the right strategy but it didn’t work out.”



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