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Hagenes enters top ten in Baloise Belgium Tour

Hagenes enters top ten in Baloise Belgium Tour

Per Strand Hagenes finished ninth in the queen stage of the Baloise Belgium Tour. In Durbuy, he sprinted for the stage win with a reduced peloton. In the overall standings, he climbed to eighth place.

The queen stage of the Baloise Belgium Tour has been held for several years in and around the Walloon town of Durbuy. A local circuit with four climbs, which the riders must complete five times, is mapped out there.

Early in the race, a group of twelve riders broke away. The team of overall leader Soren Waerenskjold controlled the pace in the peloton behind, while the riders of Team Visma | Lease a Bike positioned themselves at the front. The kilometers took their toll on the challenging course in and around Durbuy. The breakaway was caught about forty kilometers from the finish line, and the peloton gradually became smaller.

In the final lap of about thirty-five kilometers, Mick van Dijke and Tosh Van der Sande were still with Per Strand Hagenes. An attack by Mathias Vacek was countered by three other riders. That quartet was reeled in on the steep finishing climb by the reduced group containing Hagenes. Alex Aranburu then won the sprint, with Hagenes finishing ninth.

"I just didn't have the legs to fight for the win on the final climb," Hagenes admitted afterwards. "It was a tough stage, with a high pace all day. I felt okay, but not great. I gave it my all, and this is where I ended up. It's nice to be in the top ten of the overall standings now, but I had hoped for a bit more beforehand. Tomorrow we will try to finish this week well with a final sprint with Olav Kooij."

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