Binckbank Tour: Stage 4

Edward Theuns of Trek-Segafredo wins stage 4 of the BinckBank Tour whilst Stefan Küng continues to lead overall

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Binckbank Tour: Stage 4

Edward Theuns wins stage four
One year ago, Edward Theuns was flat on his back, constrained mostly to his bed. It was beginnings of what would be a long road to recovery from a fractured vertebra he sustained in a crash at the 2016 Tour de France.

Although Theuns returned to racing this season, he was still not completely pain-free and underwent surgery after the spring classics in late April to remove the hardware still in his spine. It was another few weeks to recover, and once again, more hard work to return to his top race form.

In stage four at the Binckbank Tour, Theuns put closure on his near-career ending injury for good, winning his first race since his horrible crash, and his first WorldTour victory of his career.

Victory is always sweet, but for Theuns on Thursday, it was that much sweeter. “It’s a big relief, I am really happy,” said an elated Theuns. “I had a real rough time since I crashed in the Tour last year and I worked really hard to come back. After the spring classics, I again had surgery to take out the pins in my back, and since that surgery, I feel that I am getting stronger every week. I had a great training camp at altitude during the Tour, and now it pays off.”

Theuns sprinted to second place in Wednesday’s stage three, giving him and the team confidence and high morale to play for the win again. A late attack, first by Alex Dowsett (and one other) and then by Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors) almost spoiled the impeccable team work, but Boy van Poppel and Jasper Stuyven uncannily timed the catch at 200 meters to go, and Theuns finished off the perfect lead out.
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“Dirk told us in the radio that Lampaert had a pretty good gap, but in the last kilometers to just focus on good positioning and sprinting so I wasn’t really looking at the situation. In the end, the gap opened on the right moment and Boy could go to the front with me and Jasper,” explained Theuns.

“When I started the sprint, I was able to go a little bit to his wheel, and it gave me a better slipstream, which was perfect for me. The lead out was really good, and I am super happy to give a reward to the whole team, for the hard work they do.”

“After yesterday, I really believed in it, and the team believed in it. Already yesterday we were really riding together as a group, and it was close, and today we tried again. Yesterday after the stage Dirk said tomorrow we go again for it, and in the end, it all turned out perfect.”

Stefan Küng (Race leader): “Wearing the green jersey is starting to become a habit which is a good thing, but from tomorrow the racing will be difficult. However, I think it will also suit me more than the sprinters’ stages. Today we said we weren’t going to work because we pulled yesterday and, in the end, we were doing the work for Peter Sagan (Bora – hansgrohe) and if he had won today, I wouldn’t be in this position. We gave the responsibility to the others, and they took it up, and in the end, it was really hectic. I tried to be up there and in a good position, and it worked out quite well.”

“I haven’t had a proper look at tomorrow’s stage, but I know the area. I have raced a lot there, and I have even won the Volta Limburg Classic there so, I have a lot of good memories, and I will take them with me into the race.”

Stage 4
1. Edward Theuns Trek – Segafredo
2. Marko Kump UAE Team Emirates
3. Tim Merlier Vérandas Willems-Crelan
4. Peter Sagan BORA – hansgrohe
5. Dylan Groenewegen Team LottoNL-Jumbo
6. Danny van Poppel Team Sky
7. Magnus Cort Nielsen ORICA-Scott
8. Marc Sarreau FDJ
9. Phil Bauhaus Team Sunweb
10. Sep Vanmarcke Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team

26. Mark McNally Wanty – Groupe Gobert
37. Ben Swift UAE Team Emirates
67. Tao Geoghegan Hart Team Sky
72. Owain Doull Team Sky
96. Alex Dowsett Movistar Team
108. Ryan Mullen Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team
135. Ian Stannard Team Sky
163. Scott Thwaites Dimension Data
165. Jonathan Dibben Team Sky

1. Stefan Küng BMC Racing Team
2. Maciej Bodnar BORA – hansgrohe 0:04
3. Tom Dumoulin Team Sunweb 0:05
4. Peter Sagan BORA – hansgrohe
5. Søren Kragh Andersen Team Sunweb



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