Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) won stage four of the BinckBank Tour in Houffalize today.
The 28-year-old beat Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) into second, with Laurens De Plus (Jumbo Visma) finishing five seconds back in the 96.2km stage.
“Today, the second part of the BinckBank Tour kicked off with a stage that could possibly be decisive,” said Wellens.
“We tried to make it a hard race today. When I was riding alone at the front for a moment, I dropped back because I was wasting energy. A few moments later, I still felt strong enough to respond to the acceleration of De Plus and go to the line together with him and Hirschi.
“Due to the short distance, I was a little afraid that time differences would remain limited, but eventually we worked together really well. I get on great with De Plus so we would make sure one of us could take the stage, but eventually it was a sprint man to man.”
Wellens also takes the overall lead, with Hirschi four seconds behind and De Plus third.
View more results below.
Stage four results
1. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 2:20:41
2. Marc Hirschi (Swi) Team Sunweb
3. Laurens De Plus (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:00:05
4. Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:23
5. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
6. Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Dimension Data 0:00:26
7. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
8. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb 0:00:33
9. Dion Smith (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott
10. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team
16. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data +0:00:33
42. Willie Smit (RSA) Katusha-Alpecin +0:05:03
100. Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data +0:15:07
1. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 13:32:46
2. Marc Hirschi (Swi) Team Sunweb 0:00:04
3. Laurens De Plus (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:00:14
4. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:19
5. Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:36
6. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:00:38
7. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:39
8. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
9. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
10. Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) CCC Team 0:00:41
13. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data +0:00:49
38. Willie Smit (RSA) Katusha-Alpecin +0:05:19
88. Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data +0:15:23