Cycling | 26 juli 2017
Last stage Wallonie too difficult for Lobato
Juan Jose Lobato could not compete for the win in the last stage of the Tour de Wallonie. Dylan Teuns was the strongest rider on the Mur du Thuin, while Gijs Van Hoecke was the best Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider on the 28th place.
The fifth stage of the race started in Chièvres and ended in Thuin. Six riders escaped, but the peloton never gave them a great advantage. With a few kilometres to go, the last escapee got caught and the teams readied for the last climb. Lobato was the man for the job for Team LottoNL-Jumbo, but the Mur du Thuin was too hard for him.
“The situation during the race was good for us”, Sports Director Addy Engels said. “Yesterday Juan Jose showed that he’s in a good shape, like the rest of the team. Normally, this finish fits him, but he wasn’t strong enough in the final. A few other riders were ready to get him to the front of the race, but he couldn’t follow them.”
The eight riders were in good shape after the high-altitude training camp in Küthai, Austria, but not good enough, Engels added. “They rode an aggressive race, but the guys didn’t have the race rhythm to win. We didn’t make good use of the opportunities. Everyone just returned from the high altitude and it was a hard race. The positive side is that the shape of the riders has improved and they’ve gained race rhythm. That’s good for the upcoming races, because we have a busy schedule the coming period.”