Tim Merlier fastest in bunch sprint to win GP de Fourmies

Tim Merlier took his ninth win of the season, winning the bunch kick to the line at the GP de Fourmies-La Voix du Nord. 

The Soudal-QuickStep rider sprinted through the final hectic bends in the road and the last hundred metres, pulling away from his rivals to take the win by half a bike length ahead of Gerben Thijssen (Intermarché - Circus - Wanty) in second and Matteo Moschetti (Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team) in third.

“The team did a great job today, and I must thank them for that. I also had a good feeling and lots of confidence, which helped me when I lost the boys a bit in that crazy final kilometre. I opened up the sprint early, but I had enough power to hold it, and this makes me very happy. I’m looking forward now to my next appointment, the Tour of Slovakia," said Merlier.

The one-day GP de Fourmies-La Voix du Nord's 197.6km held across a large circuit that started and finished in Fourmies. The race began with two intermediate sprints before hitting the larger circuit that included two short climbs' Côte Bocquet (900m at 4.4%) and Sacre Coeur (800m at 6.5%). The peloton then raced over the Fourmies -rue Flament (400m at 5%) before they reached the smaller finishing circuit in Fourmies.

World champion Mathieu van der Poel joined Alpecin-Deceuninck at the race, which was expected to finish in a sprint with top sprinters in the field: Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco AlUla), Caleb Ewan (Lotto Dstny), Fabio Jakobsen and Tim Merlier (Soudal-QuickStep).

A breakaway emerged at the halfway point of the race that included Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Enzo Paleni (Groupama-FDJ), Petr Kelemen (Tudor Pro Cycling Team), Gage Hecht (Human Powered Health), and Maxime Jarnet (Van Rysel-Roubaix Lille Métropole.

Two teams did the bulk of the work, setting the pace in the peloton, were Jayco-AlUla and Soudal-QuickStep, keeping the breakaway at 1:15 with 40km to go.

De Bondt was the last rider in the breakaway that was caught by the main field with 10km to go. That led to a counterattack out of the field by Simon Pellaud (Tudor Pro Cycling Team). His efforts came to an end quickly; however, he was brought back into the fold as the AG2R Citroën Team pulled the field into the last 5km.

Soudal-QuickStep, Jayco AlUla, Uno X, and Groupama-FDJ all moved to the front inside 3km, all setting up their sprinters for the bunch sprint won by Merlier.


Results powered by FirstCycling

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