Skip to main content

BinckBank Tour (6) - Dion Smith cracks top 10 in soaked Ardennes stage

BinckBank Tour (6) - Dion Smith cracks top 10 in soaked Ardennes stage

Dion Smith battled with the best in another wet sixth stage of BinckBank Tour (2.WT, 07-13/08) on Saturday. In the Ardennes stage between Riemst and Houffalize the riders had to conquer climbs as La Ferme Libert, Baraque Michel and Côte de Saint-Roch. A breakaway of six riders got a maximum advantage of around 6 minutes. On Côte de Saint-Roch the race exploded. Tim Wellens and Tom Dumoulin accelerated, Peter Sagan had a flat tire on a bad moment. Dion Smith returned in the group Sagan from the background after a long chase. Tim Wellens took the victory, Dion Smith cracked top 10 by finishing 3rd in the group sprinting for 8th spot. Xandro Meurisse finished 25th. In the GC Smith advances to 18th spot, Meurisse is now 21st.

Dion Smith:

"I am pretty happy with cracking top 10, being 11th would have been a real niggle. It is really nice for me personally as well as for the team. It was a tough day with all the rain, not too good for the mind but I just kept pushing."

"I took a nature break at the wrong time, with 50 kilometers to go. It was pretty much chasing from there. Then it splitted and Xandro (Meurisse) and myself were in the second group. Not everyone was cooperating, so there was another split and I tried to jump across. I was in no man's land for it seemed like an eternity. I finally joined Sagan's group with around 8 kilometers to go. I saved up a bit of energy and tried to do my best in the sprint."

"The rain got progressively worse throughout the day. We had to be careful in the descents. I knew I was capable of achieving a top 10. Today was the hardest stage so it is good for the confidence to achieve this result. The legs are good, it seems like I have recovered from the Tour which gives a little extra."

"Tomorrow is another day. The last day always gives some extra motivation. I did Muur van Geraardsbergen for the first time in Tour of Flanders this year, so we'll see how it goes."

Results Stage 6 (Riemst - Houffalize)

1. Tim Wellens
2. Tom Dumoulin 
3. Jasper Stuyven + 00:17
10. Dion Smith + 01:42
25. Xandro Meurisse + 04:03
81. Kenny Dehaes + 21:08
82. Kevin Van Melsen
96. Frederik Backaert
98. Pieter Vanspeybrouck 
100. Mark McNally

General classification after stage 6

1. Tom Dumoulin 
2. Tim Wellens + 00:04
3. Greg Van Avermaet + 00:46
18. Dion Smith + 03:15
21. Xandro Meurisse + 05:49
73. Frederik Backaert + 22:49
89. Mark McNally + 25:16
111. Kevin Van Melsen + 31:02
124. Pieter Vanspeybrouck + 34:41