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Gallopin wins Grand Prix de Wallonie

Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) took his first victory of the 2016 season with a late attack that netted him the Grand Prix de Wallonnie.

The Frenchman, who had been in a seven-rider move that imploded at the foot of the final climb to the Citadel of Namur, broke free with just over a kilometre remaining and held his lead to the finish.

He only held it by the skin of his teeth, however, as Etixx-QuickStep’s Petr Vakoc – also part of that earlier move – came roaring back as the road flattened out in the final kilometre and almost pipped him to the line. Coming round the final left-hand bend, Gallopin was slowing, but the Czech rider couldn’t make up his mind which side to try to pass on.

Jerome Baugnies (Wanty Groupe Gobert) finished a more distant third a couple of bike lengths back, with Huub Duijn (Roompot-Oranje Peloton) fourth and Cofidis fastman Nicolas Edet fifth.

The 205.5km race in the hilly Wallonnia region featured seven short climbs, with three in the first half of the route and the other four packed into the final 40km.

There was an early nine-man breakaway, with Johan Le Bon (FDJ), Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM), Gert Joeaar (Cofidis), Reinier Honig (Roompot-Oranje Peloton), Felix Pouilly (Roubaix Lille Métropole), and Stef Van Zummeren (Verandas Willems) going clear before being joined by Johan Hemroulle (Color Code), Samuel Leroux (Veranclassic-AGO) and Gregory Habeaux (Wallonnie Bruxelles-Group Protect).

The real action, however, began when they were caught, with just under 30km to go. Pieter Weening (Roompot-Oranje Peloton) immediately kicked off the hostilities on the Côte de Lustin, the third last climb, but it was on the five per cent slopes of the Tienne aux Pierres that the selections were really made.

The bunch split to pieces as Gallopin and Jan Bakelants piled on the pressure, forming a group of seven with Vakoc, Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r), Sebastien Reichenbach (FDJ), Huub Duijn (Roompot-Oranje Peloton) and Thomas Sprengers (Topsport Vlaanderen Baloise).

"We were with seven good riders and we managed to create a small gap pretty fast," Gallopin said. "Bakelants was very good today. He was the one that set up the breakaway and his teammate Pozzovivo was among us as well."

The gap began to grow and it reached 25 seconds as Wanty-Groupe Gobert missed out and were forced to chase behind. The group worked well but by the run-in to the Citadel they had just 15 seconds and as it was about to begin with 3km to go they all eased up and looked at each other – and that was game over.

"We worked together but it wasn’t perfect," Gallopin said. "That’s the reason why we were reeled in at the foot of the citadel. When we were caught by the peloton I had a moment to recover. I found my own pace and I moved up to the fifteenth position." 

The steep cobbled roads took the riders up a picturesque series of hairpins and, after Weening and Pozzovivo had accelerated at the head of the reduced bunch, Gallopin rolled the dice again with 1.2km remaining.

"The further we went uphill, the better I felt and the better I was positioned in the bunch," he said. "At a certain moment I felt ready to attack once again and I gave everything I had. Two years ago I finished second on the citadel. I couldn’t take the victory home. This climb suits me very well. In the last fifty metres Vakoc came really close and the stress was getting to me. Fortunately I went fast enough to bring home the victory."

As his teammate Jens Debuscherre had done 12 months previously, Gallopin reached the line alone. After near misses at San Sebastian and the French national championships, he finally had his first success of the campaign. 

"The team gave me permission to change my program because I wanted to focus on the European Championships that are coming up this Sunday," he said. "That’s why I didn’t participate in the races in Canada. Instead I chose to ride the Tour of Britain before I came here for the Grand Prix de Wallonie. It feels really good to know that the team trusts me. In the Tour of Britain I felt better every day. I hoped to win a stage there, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. But my focus is on Sunday, that’s when I want to be really good."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal5:06:17
2Petr Vakoc (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step
3Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:00:01
4Huub Duyn (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
5Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
6Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:04
7Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect
8Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Stölting Service Group
9Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
10Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Stölting Service Group
11Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
12Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ
13Tim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
14Pieter Weening (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton0:00:10
15Julien Antomarchi (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille0:00:12
16Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton0:00:17
17Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
18Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille
19Dimitri Peyskens (Bel) Veranclassic-AGO
20Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:00:22
21Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
22Gaetan Bille (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
23Lawrence Warbasse (USA) IAM Cycling
24Fabien Doubey (Fra) FDJ
25Rémy Rochas (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:28
26Rayane Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:40
27Kevin Ista (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect0:00:43
28Axel Flet (Fra) Veranclassic-AGO0:00:59
29Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:01:02
30Clement Chevrier (Fra) IAM Cycling0:01:13
31Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
32Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:01:25
33Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
34Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:01:45
35Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
36Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
37Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ0:01:49
38Arjen Livyns (Bel) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team0:02:46
39Gordon De Winter (Bel) Color Code - Arden'Beef0:03:51
40Brecht Dhaene (Bel) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team0:04:05
41Antoine Warnier (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect
42Christophe Masson (Fra) Veranclassic-AGO
43Floris De Tier (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
44Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
45Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
46Dennis Coenen (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team
47Vegard Breen (Nor) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
48Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
49Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling0:04:19
50Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:05:16
51Maximilien Picoux (Bel) Color Code - Arden'Beef0:05:20
52Pirmin Lang (Swi) IAM Cycling0:05:56
53Marcel Aregger (Swi) IAM Cycling
54Florent Pereira (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille
55Jeremy Leveau (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille
56Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
57Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:06:30
58Julien Mortier (Bel) Color Code - Arden'Beef0:06:55
59Marvin Tasset (Bel) Color Code - Arden'Beef
60Sebastien Carabin (Bel) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon0:07:44
61Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:08:27
62Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
63Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step
64Michael Reihs (Den) Stölting Service Group
65Sam Lennertz (Bel) Veranclassic-AGO
66Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:09:13
67Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
68Dorian Godon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:09:18
69Adrien Costa (USA) Etixx - Quick-Step
70Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ
71Antoine Loy (Bel) Color Code - Arden'Beef
72Thomas Petit (Bel) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon0:10:05
73Ludwig De Winter (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect
74Michel Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton0:10:36
75Felix Pouilly (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille
76Gerry Druyts (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team0:12:52
77Dieter Bouvry (Bel) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille0:13:54
78Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille
79Charlie Arimont (Bel) Color Code - Arden'Beef
80Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
81Julien Van Den Brande (Bel) Veranclassic-AGO
82Johan Hemroulle (Bel) Color Code - Arden'Beef
83Auxence Buntinx (Bel) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon
84Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team
85Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
86Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team
87Gregory Habeaux (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect
88Massimo Vanderaerden (Bel) Veranclassic-AGO
89Oliver Zaugg (Swi) IAM Cycling
90Reinier Honig (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
91Joachim Vanreyten (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team
92Ludovic Robeet (Bel) Color Code - Arden'Beef
93Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step
94Christian Mager (Ger) Stölting Service Group
95Sven Reutter (Ger) Stölting Service Group
96Thomas Koep (Ger) Stölting Service Group
97Steven Tronet (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
98Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
99Tom Dernies (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect
100Moritz Backofen (Ger) Stölting Service Group
101Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling
102Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
103Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
104Gert Joeaar (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
105Kenny De Ketele (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
106Stef Van Zummeren (Bel) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team
107Aimé Degendt (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
108Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Soudal
109Guillaume Delvaux (Bel) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon0:15:56
110Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:16:02
111Sander Cordeel (Bel) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team
112Guillaume Haag (Bel) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon
113Tim De Troyer (Bel) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team
114Nicolas Mertz (Bel) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon
115Wesley Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
116Victor Van Bost (Bel) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon
117Davide Martinelli (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step
118Rodrigo Contreras (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step
119Dylan Kowalski (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille
120Kevin Deltombe (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:16:20
121Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ0:16:42
DNFElias Van Breussegem (Bel) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team
DNFThomas Deruette (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect
DNFJulien Stassen (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect
DNFBavo Haemels (Bel) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon
DNFJustin Jules (Fra) Veranclassic-AGO
DNFSamuel Leroux (Fra) Veranclassic-AGO
DNFBenoit Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
DNFFrederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFGuillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
DNFMarc Fournier (Fra) FDJ
DNFArnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ
DNFLaurent Pichon (Fra) FDJ
DNFJonathan Fumeaux (Swi) IAM Cycling

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