Tim Wellens ends first professional season with Beijing WorldTour points
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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tim Wellens ends first professional season with Beijing WorldTour points

by Ben Atkins at 3:13 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Beijing
Fifth on final stage and tenth overall see 21-year-old enter UCI’s top-level ranking

tim wellensFour months ago Tim Wellens (Lotto-Belisol) was riding in the under-23 category but, after signing with the Belgian WorldTour team on July 1st, he 21-year-old has ended the season on a high. Tenth place overall in the Tour of Beijing - as well as fifth place on the final stage - sees Wellens net five WorldTour points, and end the season 184th in the International Cycling Union (UCI) top-level ranking.

At 21 years and a little over five months old, Wellens is the second youngest in this year’s classification, with only 2011 under-23 World champion Arnaud Démare (FDJ-BigMat) his junior. Five points may not seem like much, when compared to the 692 taken by overall winner Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) but, for a rider in only his fourth month at the top level, it represents an important rite of passage.

"It feels really good to finish the Tour of Beijing and the season this way,” said Wellens. “Before the start I told I wanted to take some WorldTour points and it is really nice this has worked out. It wasn't a dream to grab points, it wasn't an expectation, but something in between, let's call it hope. The points itself don't mean that much to me, but they are important for the team and it is a beautiful symbolic step that I take.”

Having occupied tenth spot in the general classification since finishing in the front group on the tough third stage to Badaling Great Wall, it was by no means certain that he would end the race that way. With only 1’09” separating the top 19 places, and with time bonuses available on the line, the final sprint in today’s stage to Ping Gu was make or break for the young rider’s race.

"In the final stage I sprinted at full for a good place, because we were with a few riders that had the same time in the GC. I could become ninth, but I could drop out of the top ten as well, that's why I did everything I could to sprint.

Wellens’ strong performance in Beijing followed a 50th place in his first ever appearance in il Lombardia - one of the biggest one-day races in the sport - and 34th in the GP de Montréal, having made his WorldTour debut in Québec two days before. He now looks ahead to his first full season for Lotto-Belisol, where even more will doubtless be expected of him.

“Now the season is over, I'm going the put my bike aside for two or three weeks, that will be enough,” he explained. “Afterwards I'll start building up for next season, first I'll work on my basic condition by practicing other sports like swimming, running and mountain bike."


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