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):

1 Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale)

3:52:40

2 Greg Van Avermaet (CCC)

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3 Laurens De Plus (Jumbo-Visma)

+04”

4 Simon Clarke (EF Education First)

+25”

5 Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)

+26”

6 Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma)

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7 Michael Valgren (Dimension Data)

+35”

8 Ivan Garcia (Bahrain-Merida)

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9 Amaury Capiot (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise)

+38”

10 Dylan van Baarle (Team Ineos)

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Binck Bank Tour 2019 – final general classification:

1 Laurens De Plus (Jumbo-Visma)

21:29:55

2 Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale)

+35”

3 Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal)

+36”

4 Greg Van Avermaet (CCC)

+37”

5 Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb)

+44”

6 Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma)

+01’06”

7 Ivan Garcia (Bahrain-Merida)

+01’13”

8 Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ)

+01’16”

9 Simon Clarke (EF Education First)

+01’19”

10 Michael Valgren (Dimension Data)

+01’23”

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