The first road stage of the Tour de Eurometropole would come down to the expected bunch sprint. Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Soudal) would be the fastest on the day, securing the stage win ahead of Raymond Kreder (Roompot) and Timothy Dupont (Roubaix Lille).
MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were represented in the early action of the stage with Nic Dougall and Jayde Julius both looking to find the break of the day. After Nic was brought back Jayde got the jump on the peloton with 5 other riders and they were allowed to build up a small lead.
AG2R La Mondiale would take no chances with the break though and once the advantage hit 4 minutes, they slowly started to reel them back in. With a job well done by Jayde, it was now up to our African Team to prepare for the sprint. Theo Bos was our designated man for the day and the team were going all in to deliver him to the line. Unfortunately with 10km to go, a rear wheel flat saw Theo taken out of contention. Debusschere was then able to take a comfortable victory.
Jean-Pierre Heynderickx – Sport Director
The day started off well with Nic going in the first attack but when they were caught our stagiaire Jayde did a good job to go in the next break. He spent the whole day in the break which was good. The break was retrieved on the local circuits and it was a sprint. It was in the finale where we had the worst moment of the day as Theo Bos punctured with 10km to go. It couldn’t have come at a worse time as there was just no way back to the front before the finish. The finish was perfect for Theo today, tailwind, slightly downhill and very fast. I’m not saying he definitely would have won but at least a podium was on the cards today for sure. The positive is he was feeling very good and there will be more opportunities this week.