Lotto Soudal rider Arnaud De Lie has taken victory at the Volta Limburg Classic in Eijsden. After a tough race including 3.000 metres of elevation gain, the 20-year-old Belgian was the strongest of a six-man front group. For De Lie, it’s already his third win of the season after Challenge Mallorca and GP Monseré.
At the 47th Volta Limburg Classic, the riders were faced with no less than 38 hills. Due to a tough course, temperatures close to freezing and frequent snowfall the bunch was gradually reduced. A small peloton would take on the final of the race and after several attacks, the decisive move came at around 20 kilometres from the finish, when six riders attacked. Part of that group was Lotto Soudal youngster Arnaud De Lie. The six riders went into the final local lap of six kilometres, where Arnaud De Lie reacted to every attack of his breakaway companions. The Lotto Soudal rider was the first to enter the final corner, a position he didn’t let go off. De Lie launched an impressive sprint to take his third victory of the season.
“The snowfall, cold and many altitude metres made it a tough day out but with a strong team at the start we targeted the victory today. The team did another tremendous job today”, says Arnaud De Lie. “Before the race, me and Andreas Kron were indicated as leaders so we made our plan for that. Thomas De Gendt did a great job at the front of the bunch and also Roger Kluge, Rüdiger Selig and Michael Schwarzmann made sure we didn’t waste any energy. With Philippe Gilbert, we also had a good road captain who knew the roads by heart.”
“The four climbs of the Gulperberg was a crucial part of the race today. Maybe you couldn’t win the race there but certainly lose it. In the final we were still well-positioned with me, Andreas and Philippe. Normally, it wasn’t immediately the plan that I would go clear with a small group but we changed tactics a bit. That way we took off with the six of us and I did everything I could to make it a sprint in the end. That I can finish it in this way makes it even more beautiful”, concludes Arnaud De Lie.
Image: Photo News.