Tour de Wallonie
Stage 4) Blegny – Erezée
Top 5 for Sénéchal at Tour de Wallonie
Florian Sénéchal made a huge jump in the general classification on the final stage and concluded the Tour de Wallonie in fourth place, just one second behind what would have been his first overall podium in a stage race.
After producing a monster lead-out for Sam Bennett Tuesday and paving the Irishman’s way to a spectacular victory, the 27-year-old had his own chance to fight for a strong result on the nervous stage four between Blegny and Erezée (199.4 kilometers), which Zdenek Stybar animated from the break. On the attack for the third time in the last couple of days, the Czech was part of a seven-man breakaway that got away 50 kilometers into the stage and was the last of these to be caught on the last classified climb, where the selection took place in the bunch.
Florian made it safely into the first group, which numbered just a handful of riders before the yellow jersey made it across together with several teammates. A late attack of Jhonatan Narvaez (Ineos) forced what was left of the peloton to ramp up the pace, the Ecuadorian getting reeled in only on the uphill drag to the finish. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) powered to the win, in the process wrapping up also the general classification, while Sénéchal – seventh on the punchy finish in Erezée – moved up a remarkable 16 places in the standings.
“It would have been nice to conclude this race in the top 3, but today wasn’t easy and despite having good legs, I felt a bit tired when it came to crunch time in the last kilometers and couldn’t follow the others when they opened up the sprint. I know I can do better than this, so that’s why I draw a lot of confidence from this week for Sunday’s National Championships”, an upbeat Florian said.
Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen / Getty Images