Cycling

De Plus wins BinckBank Tour for first title

Laurens De Plus (http://www.quickstepfloorscycling.com)
Laurens De Plus (http://www.quickstepfloorscycling.com)

Geraardsbergen - Belgian rider Laurens De Plus clinched overall victory in the BinckBank Tour on Sunday when he was part of a small breakaway late in the seventh and final stage.

It was the 23-year-old Jumbo-Visma rider's first World Tour victory.

De Plus, who started the day third overall 12 seconds behind leader Tim Wellens, escaped with fellow Belgians Oliver Naesen, who rides for AG2R, and Greg Van Avermaet, of CCC, with 20 kilometres left in the 178.1km ride from Geraardsbergen to Leeuw-Saint-Pierre. 

De Plus pulled the trio up the final climb before he was dropped as Naesen outsprinted Van Avermaet to the line. De Plus rolled in four seconds later and punched the air.

Naesen jumped to second overall, 35 seconds back in the final standings, one second ahead of Wellens.

Wellens, another Belgian who is with Lotto-Soudal, finished more than 41 seconds back in the fractured pursuing pack.

The decisive stage in the week-long tour of Belgium and the Netherlands covered roads familiar from the spring classics, including the famed Mur de Grammont climb. 

Stage results: 

1. Oliver Naesen (BEL/ALM) 178.6 km  in 3hr 52min 40sec, 2. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/CCC) st, 3. Laurens De Plus (BEL/JUM) at 4sec, 4. Simon Clarke (AUS/EF1) 25, 5. Philippe Gilbert (BEL/DEC) 26, 6. Mike Teunissen (NED/JUM) 26, 7. Michael Valgren (DEN/DDT) 35, 8. Ivan Garcia (ESP/BAH) 35, 9. Amaury Capiot (BEL/TSV) 38, 10. Dylan van Baarle (NED/INE) 38.

Overall standings:

1. Laurens De Plus (BEL/Jumbo) 21hr 29min 55sec, 2. Oliver Naesen (BEL/ALM) at 35 sec, 3. Tim Wellens (BEL/LOT) 36, 4. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/CCC) 37, 5. Marc Hirschi (SUI/SUN) 44, 6. Mike Teunissen (NED/JUM) 1:06, 7. Iván Garcia (ESP/BAH) 1:13, 8. Stefan Kung (SUI/FDJ) 1:16, 9. Simon Clarke (AUS/EF1) 1:19, 10. Soren Kragh Andersen (DEN/SUN) 1:21.

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