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Wilco finishes on Eneco Tour podium

Wilco finishes on Eneco Tour podium

Wilco finished third overall in the Eneco Tour on Sunday. The podium spot for the Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider was never threatened during the 188.6-kilometre final stage from Sint-Pieters-Leeuw to Geraardsbergen.

BMC’s Manuel Quinziato won the stage, a mini version of the Tour of Flanders, after the Italian got the better of his fellow escapees in the final kilometres. Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) took the overall victory, with Greg van Avermaet (BMC) second.

“I’m happy with my third place. After the Tour de France, this is a big boost,” Kelderman said. “I really needed this after the disappointment of the Tour, and the Eneco Tour is an important race.”

Kelderman considered an attack on the Muur van Geraardsbergen on Sunday, but thought better of it: “The race was under strict control and I knew that riders would responded if I went. I toyed with the idea of an attack on the penultimate climb, but when a few others accelerated, I could only react.”

Wilco wore the leader’s white jersey going into Saturday’s penultimate stage, and despite a staunch defense, he could not prevent Wellens from pulling on the jersey after winning the stage. Kelderman managed to defend an important third-place podium spot.

“I really struggled, but I don’t think I did anything wrong this week,” Kelderman said about the valuable lessons he learned. “Yesterday was just very difficult because there were so many strong riders in the front. The race wasn’t controllable. Besides that, there’s something extra to being a race leader.”

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