Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) snatched victory from Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) on stage 4 of the BinckBank Tour. The experienced Lotto Soudal rider allowed Hirschi to lead out the sprint to the line in Houffalize with over 150m to go before coming through to take the win by a matter of inches. Fellow breakaway companion Laurens De Plus (Jumbo Visma) finished a distant third on the stage. The win marked Lotto Soudal’s first victory since the tragic death of Bjorg Lambrecht earlier in the month. Wellens now leads Hirschi by four seconds in the general classification after overnight leader Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) was dropped earlier in the stage. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Bahrain Merida) had been in the final break but was unable to match the leading three riders on the last set of climbs, with the Spaniard bringing home a small chase group at 23 seconds.ADVERTISEMENT The trio of Wellens, De Plus and Hirschi broke clear on the final ascent of the 96.2km stage after several early breaks attempted to split the main field on the climbs that routinely peppered the course. Iljo Keisse (QuickStep) and Stan Dewulf (Lotto Soudal) were the first riders to attack on the first of three ascents of the Cote de Saint-Roch and they quickly opened up a gap that moved out to almost two minutes. They continued to lead the race on the second time up the climb but on the Cote Rue Bois, with 50km remaining, De Plus attacked and split the main field. The acceleration from the Jumbo Visma rider ended the early break's hopes and soon there were nine riders out front with De Plus joined by Wellens, Dewulf, Keisse, Stybar, Gren Van Avermaet, Soren Kragh Andersen, Jay McCarthy, and Simon Clarke.
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