In the ultimate stage of the Tour de Wallonie, which was all about the cobbled sections, Sep Vanmarcke proved, once again, that he is one of the best cyclists on pave. The Belgian attacked in the final hour of racing and got caught with only 900 meters to go by the peloton.
In that peloton sat team leader Omer Goldstein, who rounds off the Tour de Wallonie in 8th place after consistent and aggressive racing. Proving once again that the Ardennes are one of his favorite terrains, he achieved his goal of wanting to make ‘more good memories’ in Belgium.
“The cobbles were very hard today”, Goldstein said after his strong result in the general classification, “but honestly, I also kind of liked it.”
“This is my best result in a GC. I am happy about that, especially because the Tour of Wallonie is quite a big race. I hope this is just the start of more good results in future stage races.”
Vanmarcke was happy for the Israeli climber. However, being caught so deep in the final, was not pleasing. “I felt strong today, but unfortunately the teams with sprinters were a little stronger today.”
Vanmarcke escaped from the peloton on one of the pave sectors, bridging the one-minute gap between the breakaway of the day in no time. Slowly but steadily the gap between the Belgian and his companions got smaller and smaller, but it took the peloton ages to completely reel in the group of escapees.
With two kilometers to the line, Vanmarcke, who is clearly one of the strongest riders in the break, attacked. By then, the peloton was very close to the front group. Unfortunately for the Classics specialist, he got caught by the teams that had sprinters in the peloton with 900 meters to go.
Goldstein, therefore, was the Israeli team’s best finisher in the last stage: 22nd.