After facing a great many challenges during the Tour de France earlier this month, Team Radioshack (RSH) needed to demonstrate they could still field a squad ready and able to compete at the front of the peloton. The team did just that in the five stage Tour De Wallonie, which concluded today in Thuin, Belgium.
Following his team’s good form from Le Tour, Greg Van Avermaet of BMC Racing was the overall winner for the race, securing the top spot on the podium after a successful, final cobblestone climb to beat everyone across the line at the top. The Shack wasn’t left out during the awards ceremony though, as Ben Hermans stood next to Van Avermaet as the third place winner in the GC. This outcome is great to see for Hermans, who’s raced well throughout the season, including an 8th place finish in the Amstel Gold Race in April. Nice work, Ben!
The other Shacker with a fine result in Wallonia was Robbie McEwen, who quenched his thirst for a 2011 win in Stage Four. As reported in Cycling News, “The 39-year-old Australian out-sprinted Alexander Kristoff (BMC) and Yauheni Hutarovich (FDJ) in the bunch gallop to the finish line in Mouscron.”
McEwen was complimentary of his RSH squad after the win. He explained that the team had done a good job protecting him and fellow sprinter Manuel Cardoso, keeping them in good position and out of the wind throughout the stage. McEwen especially praised Born Selander’s efforts near the end to help them remain poised for the sprint finish.
As they closed on the finish, Cardoso lost position and it was up to McEwen to make the line. He did just that behind the final lead out by Leopard-Trek, passing at just the right time to cross first, arms raised afterward in triumph. Great stuff!
Certainly seems that Team Radioshack bouncing back, and Shack fans can only hope the boys continue this good form in the Clásica San Sebastián when they take to the start line on Saturday in northeast Spain.
By Jeff Ludlum, staff writer