The Eurométropole Tour ended with a thriller. Jens Debusschere finished in the same time as John Degenkolb, but is the overall winner and so the successor of Jürgen Roelandts. Debusschere had begun the final stage, from Mons to Tournai (153,8 km), with an advantage of three seconds on Michael Mørkøv. A break of five was reeled in on the local circuit at about 55 kilometers from the end. In those seven local laps of 14,7 km the riders had to cover the Croix Jubaru. On the last three ascents there was a rush each time at the top where one could gain three, two or one second. This was important for GC.
John Degenkolb won the first rush and stood then four seconds behind Jens Debusschere in the virtual GC. Debusschere was too far to get any boni seconds. Then four riders got ahead, Mørkøv was one of them. Jürgen Roelandts was in a chase group together with Degenkolb. The bunch could close the gap pretty fast. The next two times it were escapees, not dangerous for GC, who took the seconds at the rushes. For the fourth time in a row the stage ended with a bunch sprint. John Degenkolb won, he was also the best in stage two. Jens Debusschere ended up on the second place. Degenkolb won ten seconds at the finish and Debusschere six, so the German had the same time. The addition of all places counts for the overall victory then and thanks to the win in the opening stage and the third spot a day later Jens Debusschere became the winner!
Jens Debusschere: “It was close today. I actually had my best day of the week. In the run-up to the first rush I was riding in the wheel of Mørkøv, I thought he would be my biggest opponent on that climb. But about 300 meters from the top he went aside and that way a gap was formed and Degenkolb was away. Then I told my teammates I’d go full for the sprint at the finish because I felt I could win.”
“In the last turn I lost Sieberg and Roelandts and came in the wheel of Degenkolb, that was perfect. That’s why Sibi and Jürgen pulled at the front, so I could stay in that position. The sprint was ridden with some headwind and I waited a bit too long to take off. Because of the addition of al day results I still won the jersey. This is great. The victory in Koolskamp, the opening stage and overall victory in the Eurométropole Tour feel like my breakthrough.”
“This is a victory for the team. Without a team you can’t win, especially in the bunch sprints you need a train. Everyone of us was motivated to keep the jersey. Already from the youth categories I can keep my motivation till the end of the season. This definitely gives a boost to do even better next year.”