Tour de France - Tim Wellens: There will be no danger of losing the Polka Dot jersey tomorrow
Jul 09 2019 03:10 am CET

Tour de France - Tim Wellens: There will be no danger of losing the Polka Dot jersey tomorrow
Tour de France - Tim Wellens: There will be no danger of losing the Polka Dot jersey tomorrow
Tim Wellens (c)Lotto Soudal

Lotto Soudal's Tim Wellens has taken the Polka Dot jersey of the Tour de France. The Belgian rider was part of the breakaway of the day until he had a mechanical problem in the penultimate climb.

Wellens was part of the breakaway of the day and with 48 kilometres to go he attacked and went on by himself. Although he suffered a mechanical problem on the penultimate climb, he kept going until he reached the top to take more KOM points that would give him the Polka Dot jersey.

"It wasn’t the initial plan for me to go on the attack," the rider explained. "Thomas De Gendt tried to go in the breakaway, but he doesn’t get a lot of space. After all those years, the other teams, of course, have come to know him. I only had to move along once and I was already in the right breakaway of the day.

"The cooperation with my fellow escapees went very smoothly and we built up an advantage of six minutes quite easily, but when the peloton started accelerating, I noticed I had to attack because the tempo in the breakaway wasn’t high enough. So I attacked at 45 kilometres from the finish line, because I knew I was the strongest rider in front.

"Initially I attacked because I wanted to take the points for the polka dot jersey, but at one moment I started believing there could be more. Immediately thereafter, the peloton started picking up the pace and winning became a lot more difficult. At the last climb, I had a flat tyre, so I had to stop. Luckily, I was able to get those last two points for the polka dot jersey, but following Alaphilippe and going for a better result was no longer possible."

Wellens couldn't fight for the stage victory or follow the stage winner Julian Alaphilippe at the descent. "Beating Alaphilippe would be very difficult, but you never know. Maybe I could keep up with him and get a better result. That being said, I am very happy with the polka dot jersey. There will be no danger of losing it tomorrow.

"On Wednesday and on Thursday, there are a lot more points to win and then it will depend on the shape of the day if I can be in the breakaway again and keep the jersey a bit longer."




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