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Sluitingsprijs - Stenuit fourth in very fast last race, Veuchelen says goodbye

Sluitingsprijs - Stenuit fourth in very fast last race, Veuchelen says goodbye

In Sluitingsprijs Putte-Kapellen (1.1, 17/10), the final race of the 2017 season, Robin Stenuit finished 4th on Tuesday. In a very fast race (48.5km/h average) Mark McNally, Robin Stenuit and Frederik Veuchelen chose the offensive. No one was able to stay clear until 14 riders with Kévin Van Melsen and Wesley Kreder accelerated with 80 kilometers to go. They achieved a maximum advantage of two minutes but the pack didn't let go. With only 1 kilometer to go Van Melsen and Kreder were caught. In the sprint Arvid De Kleijn was the fastest, Robin Stenuit finished 4th, Kenny Dehaes 7th.

Robin Stenuit:

"I think everyone wanted to close the season as fast as possible. We were riding at a very high pace of around 49km/h average. I rode an offensive race since there were few sprinters at the start. I thought a small group would battle for victory. I accelerated a few times. I was in a group of about 15 riders but the cooperation didn't go smooth."

"Afterwards Kévin and Wesley jumped clear. I thought they were going for victory, but they were caught at the very end. We protected Kenny but I lost his wheel in the penultimate kilometer. I was tired from all my efforts in the sprint and thus finished 4th. Now it is time for some celebrations and holidays, but I would like to continue cycling."

Frederik Veuchelen:

"Like every other race I tried to make the race. The fact that this was my last race did not make a difference. The past week I realised a few times this were the last days I had to go training. I quit professional cycling, but I won't stop bicycling. I will step on the bike again and want to try to run, that is a long time ago. 

"This year I crashed for the first time, with a fracture as a consequence. Ik took some time to recover, that wasn't easy. It also had to do with aga. The last months I had a good time although I slowly started to realise: this would be the last time. Especially in my home region Grote Prijs Jef Scheerens in Leuven and Druivernkoers in Overijse I was very emotional. Now I look forward to new things, I have a lot circling in my mind."

Results

1. Arvid De Kleijn
2. Coen Vermeltfoort
3. Timothy Dupont
4. Robin Stenuit
7. Kenny Dehaes
62. Mark McNally
73. Frederik Veuchelen
83. Tom Devriendt + 00:22
86. Wesley Kreder + 00:29
88. Brecht Dhaene
93. Kévin Van Melsen + 00:58