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Binck Bank Tour. Stage 6. Michael Valgren moves up to 5th in GC

Astana’s Michael Valgren looked solid at today’s stage 6 to Houffalize, making a very strong performance and moving up to fifth place in general classification.

Valgren was among the riders, who made a strong selection on the Côte Saint-Roch (1000 m, 11% average) and later on the Rue Bois des Moines (1200 m, 8% average). As result, a group of 7 riders with Michael Valgren among them went away taking a good advantage other the rest of the peloton.

Later, two riders, the Giro d’Italia-2017 winner Tom Dumoulin and Tim Wellens have got a small gap, holding it until the finish line. Michael Valgren was one of the most active riders in the chasing group, trying to bring the break back. Anyway, two leaders could stay in front until the end, playing the stage victory, while the group of Valgren arrived 17 - 20 seconds behind.

- It was a really long and hard day with the rain and very bad weather conditions. I had really good legs today, I felt much better than yesterday. So, I am happy to be in front in the final part of the stage. I could not follow Wellens and Dumoulin when they attacked, but anyway I was there in the next group and I think I was one of the strongest. It was a very nice day for me, but also for the team. The guys helped me as much as possible, bringing me bottles, taking my clothes, guiding me in the peloton. So, I thank my team a lot. One more day to go, I hope to protect my fifth place or even to reach something more tomorrow. It would be really nice. Right now I am tired as everybody else. Now it is all about recovery and tomorrow we will see how the things will go on, - said Michael Valgren.

Belgian rider Tim Wellens won the stage (Riemst – Houffalize, 203,7 km) ahead of Tom Dumoulin. Jasper Stuyvwen was third (+0.17). Michael Valgren finished 6th (+0.20).

- The last 55 km of the race were completely different; we did a very hard circuit around Houffalize. Michael showed a very strong performance, he was following the best riders on the hardest parts of the distance. It was a tough day for everybody with the rain and all these climbs. But I am happy with the team’s performance and especially with Michael, who looked very good today, - added sports director Lars Michaelsen.

In general classification Dumoulin is the new overall leader, while Astana rider moved up to 5th place, 1 minute and 2 seconds behind the leader.

The last, 7th stage of the Binck Bank Tour will be held tomorrow: Essen – Geraardsbergen, 191,3 km.

Photo credit: © Bettiniphoto

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