Baloise Belgium Tour
Stage 3) Gingelom - Scherpenheuvel-Zichem
Belgium Friday 11 June 2021 174.7 km
Remco Evenepoel remains in blue at the Belgium Tour
Deceuninck – Quick-Step will go into the queen stage of the Belgium Tour with Remco Evenepoel and Yves Lampaert on the first two positions of the general classification, after they both came home with the peloton at the end of the 174.4km undulating stage 3 that travelled between Gingelom and Scherpenheuvel-Zichem.
Our team once again assumed pace-setting duties, holding the five-man break at three minutes before deciding to ramp up the speed when the race entered the local circuit, which was due to be covered three times. Iljo Keisse did the bulk of the work at the front, while Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner Davide Ballerini tracked down some late moves that came over the top of a short hill and made sure it would all come down to a mass gallop.
Mark Cavendish was well placed ahead of the flamme rouge, but the former World Champion was boxed in at a key moment of the stage and lost the wheel of his lead-out man Michael Mørkøv, who went on to sprint for himself, taking a solid third behind Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) and Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe), before being later promoted to second after the German’s relegation. Remco Evenepoel finished in the same time and will carry a 45-second advantage into the most important stage of the race.
“It was a fairly calm day, and I owe it to the team, because they all did an excellent job, keeping me out of the wind and working hard at the head of the bunch. On Saturday we’ll have the queen stage of this edition and it will be a nice feeling to have the blue jersey again on my shoulders, as it gives me quite a lot of motivation. It’s going to be a short and nervous stage with plenty of climbs, many attacks and some high temperatures that could play a part, but I look forward to it”, said Remco after his second consecutive day at the top of the rankings.
Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen / Getty Images