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Jonas Van Genechten (Lotto Belisol) after victory at the Tour of Poland in Katowice.
Lotto Belisol sprinter claims first WorldTour win with extra gear
Lotto Belisol's Jonas Van Genechten is not normally his team's dedicated sprinter, but when the main man, Kenny De Haes, was not feeling great, he seized his chance for victory, and thanks to some advanced planning, he found that extra gear to finally grab a World Tour victory in stage 4 of the Tour of Poland.
"It was a very fast sprint which was helped by a tailwind. I hit 80km per hour at the finish, which was slightly downhill; I hardly got out of the saddle for how fast we were going."
Van Genechten revealed in the televised interview that he asked the mechanics to put a 54-tooth chainring on his bike before the stage, because of the high speed expected for the finish. Although he was tucked behind the sprinters until just 25m before the line, the extra gear and perfect timing allowed him to blast out from behind and snatch the win from Jacopo Guarnieri (Astana) and Giant-Shimano's Luka Mezgec.
"That's my biggest victory so far so I am absolutely delighted," Van Genechten said. "Usually I am a bit like Greg Henderson. I work for our leaders André Greipel or Jens Debusschere in the sprints, or even for Kenny De Haes here at the Tour of Poland. But Kenny said with two laps to go that he didn't feel very good, so I could try my luck.
"The team did a great job and they set me up in the right position to contest the sprint. In the final I was in a good position and when the sprint was launched I chose the right timing to come off of the wheels of my rivals just a few meters from the finish line."