Tim Wellens has taken a major step towards securing his second consecutive Eneco Tour. The Lotto-Soudal Belgian won the tough Saturday stage after a majestic 25 kilometre solo.
After twenty kilometres the early breakaway took shape with five riders: Sébastien Turgot (AG2R), Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin), Jérôme Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida) and Matthias Brändle (IAM
Cycling). The peloton conceded a maximum of five minutes. Before the break there was a scrap for the Primus combativity ranking. Gijs Van Hoecke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) took ten points to take over the lead from Jesper Asselman (Roompot).
LottoNL-Jumbo took charge of the peloton. The race really exploded on the Côte de Saint-Roch with 69 kilometres to go. Eight riders took their chances. Van Avermaet (BMC), Benoot (Lotto-Soudal), Bakelants (AG2R), Lutsenko, Grivko, (Astana), Tanner (IAM Cycling) and Juul Jensen (Tinkoff-Saxo) quickly took half a minute, but couldn't stay out of the peloton's reach. Their efforts did reduce the gap to the leaders, who were caught on the Côte Rue Bois des Moines by a peloton reduced to 19, with Boom (Astana) a notable absentee.
An exciting finale saw plenty of action with a splitting attack by Geschke (Giant-Alpecin) and Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo), which caused a lot of trouble for leader Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo). Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) attacked with 25 km to go and closed the gap to the two leaders, while Kelderman had to give way.