About 30 kilometers from the finish, the peloton sounded the fan bells. Leader Søren Wærenskjold was beaten back after a bike change and after a second pit stop he had no chance.
Tim Merlier had jumped on the right train with a handful of teammates from Soudal – Quick Step and was no longer disappointed.
On his son’s first birthday, he performed a powerful sprint along the crowd barriers. No one touched their rear wheel yet.
Merlier made two Dutch people smell poop: Arvid de Kleijn and Casper van Uden. The latter, winner of the opening stage on Tuesday, takes over the leader’s jersey again.
“I was very motivated,” Merlier said about the festivities at home.
“I didn’t want to make a mistake today. I’m happy to give my son this victory for his first birthday.”
“I like fans,” Merlier grinned. “It was still okay at the start, due to the headwind, but afterwards it was different with every chance. And the last time was the right one. We were well at the front with the team, and even our classification rider (William Jr. Lecerf) was along.”
“It was a special finish, because of the wind and the road going slightly uphill. Everything had to be done well, but it happened, and I’m happy about that. We made some mistakes the past two days, but if you have the confidence If you keep it, then everything will be fine.”