Laurens De Plus wins Binck Bank Tour as Naesen claims final stage

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 and Greg Van Avermaet 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 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.

“It was a really hard week for me because of what happened to Bjorg,” De Plus said. “I was doubting about starting here because he was a good friend. It was some tough days, but I’m happy to honour in some way. He was always on my mind and with me in this race. This is for him.”

Binck Bank Tour 2019 – stage 7 results (Sint-Pieters-Leeuw – Geraardsbergen):

1Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale)

3:52:40

2Greg Van Avermaet (CCC)

,,

3Laurens De Plus (Jumbo-Visma)

+04”

4Simon Clarke (EF Education First)

+25”

5Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)

+26”

6Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma)

,,

7Michael Valgren (Dimension Data)

+35”

8Ivan Garcia (Bahrain-Merida)

,,

9Amaury Capiot (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise)

+38”

10Dylan van Baarle (Team Ineos)

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Binck Bank Tour 2019 – final general classification:

1Laurens De Plus (Jumbo-Visma)

21:29:55

2Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale)

+35”

3Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal)

+36”

4Greg Van Avermaet (CCC)

+37”

5Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb)

+44”

6Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma)

+01’06”

7Ivan Garcia (Bahrain-Merida)

+01’13”

8Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ)

+01’16”

9Simon Clarke (EF Education First)

+01’19”

10Michael Valgren (Dimension Data)

+01’23”

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