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Wellens remains sporty after collision with Lampaert: ‘But it will cost me a final victory’ NOW

Tim Wellens seemed to be the teammate of his major competitor Mauro Schmid on his way to the overall victory in the Tour of Belgium on Sunday, until he was severely hindered by Yves Lampaert in the last two bonus sprints. Wellens was disappointed after his second place, but remained remarkably sporty.

“It hurts, but I can’t help it,” said 31-year-old Wellens calmly after the fifth and final stage. “I leave it up to you to judge. Even if they disqualify Yves, it doesn’t do me much. I don’t get the overall victory.”

The flat final stage promised to be very exciting, because leader Schmid and number two Wellens were in the standings at the same time. As expected, the decision came in the golden kilometer. In those 1,000 meters, bonus seconds could be earned for three sprints: three seconds for the winner, two seconds for the number two and one second for the number three.

Wellens took the three seconds in the first sprint by force majeure, while Schmid did not finish in the top three. In the next two sprints, Wellens was pushed hard and blocked by Lampaert. The Belgian helped his teammate Schmid, who took two seconds in the last sprints. Wellens only managed to get one second, leaving Lotto Soudal’s Belgian in second place in the final standings.

“I am disappointed, it hurts to lose by a few hundredths,” said Wellens. “We checked the race and the scenario was perfect. After that first sprint I thought: this looks good, I’m winning. But towards the second sprint it went wrong and there was a small collision with Lampaert. That cost me the overall victory; if Lampaert is not there, then I will win. But that is the race.”

For the app users: tap on the tweet to view the images of the pushing and pulling in the golden kilometer.

Lampaert: ‘Everything went fairly fair’

Lampaert was disqualified by the jury after the stage, but that had no consequences for the final classification. Schmid remained the winner of the round.

Lampaert, 31, said after the stage that according to him there was little going on in the golden kilometer. “There was quite a bit of pushing and pulling from both sides,” the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider told CyclingFlash† “I think everything went pretty fair. It may have looked a bit spectacular on TV, but that’s the course.”

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