"This was my best sprint of the three opportunities we had" - Tim Merlier optimistic towards National Championships

Tim Merlier had all the reasons to be satisfied with his second stage victory in the final day of Baloise Belgium Tour. The 31-year-old Flemish defeated his big rival Jasper Philipsen once again in Brussel, settling the score to 2 - 1 for the time being.

"This was my best sprint of the three sprints that were there. During the second sprint opportunity I was trapped. I guessed it pretty well at the time, but unfortunately I couldn't figure it out. Today I rode a good sprint," opens Merlier afterwards. When asked which of the three sprint opportunities from the Baloise Belgium Tour was the most fun to ride, Merlier answers with a smile: "The last one because then it's over."

In his analysis afterwards, the Soudal - Quick-Step sprinter thanks his lead-out man Bert Van Lerberghe several times. "Towards the 2km mark, Bert and I were both in a good position. Then he made the decision to pull it on a ribbon because I was well placed. From then on it was a matter of timing until the last corner to get through it properly. I continued there in an ideal position and was able to ride my sprint as I wanted."

The 31-year-old sprinter is looking forwards to the Belgian road Championship next week. "I'll try to be as fresh as possible next week, just like I did after the Giro. I also tried to hang on it as long as possible yesterday, but I must say that the condition is okay, but the freshness is gone."

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