Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) staged an enormous coup in the BinckBank Tour, winning the final stage in Geraardsbergen and taking the overall victory ahead of Søren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb) with Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) in third overall.
Van der Poel came into the final stage 17 seconds down on race leader Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) but put in a stinging attack on the Muur van Geraardsbergen Mathieu van der Poel with a full 75km to go to the finish.
After pulling a group away, Van der Poel then attacked again on the second trip over the Muur and went solo with 50km to go.
Behind, Pedersen succumbed when Kragh Andersen attacked on the final ascent with 16km to go and the Dane, together with Küng, Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) and Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain McLaren) tried to chase down the Dutch champion.
However, Van der Poel swept up the Golden Kilometre time bonus with 11km to go to seal the overall victory and solo to the stage win, three seconds ahead of Naesen with Colbrelli in third.
“It is incredible that I won the BinckBank Tour”, Van der Poel said. “I had started for the win, but after yesterday’s time trial I didn’t expect that anymore.”
Van der Poel said attacking that far out was not his plan, “It was way too early,” he said. But he felt that the group wasn’t working and decided to go on the climb.
“And suddenly I was alone. For a moment I hesitated, because it was still far to the finish, but in the end I played all or nothing.”