After a long day in the saddle and some incredible work by the whole team, Dylan Teuns attacked on the final climb of the Grand Prix de Wallonie, and despite looking as though he had gone clear, was pipped to second place on the line by Movistar’s Gonzalo Serrano.
With the weather cooling and the cycling season coming to a close, one would think that the racing becomes less intense as the riders tire from the many days of riding, and look forward to the off-season. However, that was not to be the case, as Israel – Premier Tech were clearly highly motivated to make the Grand Prix de Wallonie a very hard race.
Despite Mason Hollyman making it into the early break of the day, the pace remained high, and he and his breakaway compatriots never got more than thirty seconds on the peloton. From that point, it seemed as though the pace was never ending, with every attack being brought back before another rider dared to counter. One rider was IPT’s Nick Schultz, who was motivated as he was celebrating his birthday. Once Schultz was caught by the peloton, Jakob Fuglsang also rolled the dice with an attack, sticking to the game plan of making the race as hard as possible for the fastest riders in the peloton.
Once the riders got to the final kilometer, Stevie Williams put in a searing attack, taking a select group with him, before Teuns saw his opportunity, and flew from the back of the pack to create a significant gap with just five-hundred meters to go. With a slight hesitation in the pack, it looked as though Teuns had made the winning move, but Serrano managed to dig deep and catch him just before the line.
“The team did a very good job. We raced aggressively from the beginning to make it hard, and we were active in all the moves because we wanted to get the sprinters tired. On the last climb, Jakob and Stevie did a great job of making the pace super hard, and in the end, second place was a good result, but I was also a little disappointed because winning was possible. In the last corner, I just went a bit too fast and had to brake a lot, and lost all my speed, so Serrano managed to get back to my wheel and beat me in the sprint. I gave it everything, so I’m still satisfied to be fighting for the win.”
Naturally, Sports Director Rene Mandri was aiming for the win today, but with the excellent teamwork from the riders, he was very proud of the performance the riders put in.
“The plan was to have a hard race from the beginning and put Dylan in position on the last climb to attack. The riders did very well, as all of them and Dylan launched perfectly timed attacks. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the win, but we can be proud of all of them today!”