After being agonisingly pipped in a sprint finish on Stage 5, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) took that out of the equation by going on a solo break to claim victory in Stage 6 of the Benelux Tour.
The Italian launched an attack alongside teammate Matej Mohoric and Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates) on the ascent of Cote Bois des Mointes with 50 kilometres remaining.
Colbrelli kicked again with 25 kilometres remaining and his effort dropped Hirschi and Mohoric.
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An eight-man group joined forces but were unable to reel in Colbrelli who crossed the line in Houffalize 24 seconds to the good, with his effort also earning him the leader’s jersey.
“It was a real battle,” Colbrelli said. “We attacked and it was the toughest race for me. We said we should try.
“I did not think I was going to make it, so I am super happy.
“We went early and full gas until the end. I was afraid that they would get back to me. There were so many kilometres to go, but it went well.
“Today was so difficult. It is something I have never really done before.”
Looking to Sunday’s concluding stage, Colbrelli said: “It is going to be another tough stage. I will try and recover and attack it; try and keep the jersey.”
Colbrelli holds a 51-second lead in the general classification from Mohoric, with Victor Campenaerts (Qhubeka NextHash) a further two seconds adrift.
Stefan Kung (Groupama–FDJ), who started the day in the lead, dropped to fourth on GC ahead of Sunday’s final stage.
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