Tim Wellens won the fourth leg of the BinckBank Tour on Friday. The Belgian beat the young Marc Hirschi in the sprint of a leading group of three and thus won a stage finish in Houffalize for the third time. The rider of Lotto Soudal also took the lead in the classification.
Hirschi, who was only twenty-two years old, seemed to be on his way to the stage victory after 96.2 hilly kilometers with start and finish in Houffalize, but the eight-year-old Wellens pushed his wheel just a little earlier. Jumbo-Visma leader Laurens de Plus did not sprint and finished third in 5 seconds.
Mike Teunissen was the best Dutchman in seventh place. De Limburger admitted 26 seconds to the winner.
Wellens also won the stage with finish in Houffalize in 2015 and 2017 in the stage race through Belgium and the Netherlands, which was called Eneco Tour up to and including 2016.
Sam Bennett won the first three stages of the BinckBank Tour this week, but as expected the Irish sprinter could not compete with the best in the stage through the Walloon Ardennes and lost the leader's jersey to Wellens.
The BinckBank Tour continues on Friday with a flat stage of 191.4 kilometers from the Belgian Riemst to the Venray in Limburg. The WorldTour race through Belgium and the Netherlands is decided at the weekend with a time trial of 8.4 kilometers in The Hague on Saturday and a difficult ride through the Flemish Ardennes on Sunday.