Much to his disbelief own Laurens De Plus took the overall win in the 2019 BinckBank Tour after a coup in the final stage. The Belgian Jumbo-Visma rider took his first professional win with a 35 second margin on Oliver Naesen and 36 seconds on Tim Wellens.
"I can barely believe it," De Plus reacted. "At the start of the stage I was happy with a podium spot, but winning? I felt Wellens was riding too strongly in the Ardennes for that. With my jump on the Bosberg I mainly tried to take a few extra seconds and secure my podium spot. But suddenly I was gone with Naesen and Greg van Avermaet."
The Belgian is a rider who thrives in the mountains, but ultimately made the difference in the BinckBank Tour on the Flemish cobblestones. "It's actually the first time I'm racing on cobbles in a World Tour race," he explained. "I talked about it with Oliver at the start and he said it would be okay. I though he said that to comfort me, but suddenly I was in front with him and Greg in the finale."
"I tried to stick with them and afterwards I rode full. At the finish I had a big enough gap to take the overall win," said the local rider, who celebrated with his own fans. "I live close by in Ninove. The stage actually went right by my house. There were a lot of fans on the side of the road, so it's extra nice to be able to win here today."
De Plus dedicated his first pro win to the late Bjorg Lambrecht: "He was a good friend and I long doubted whether I would start here, but in the end I'm happy I did. I was always thinking about him and I'm glad I can honour him with this win. These flowers are for him."