Van der Poel wins De Brabantse Pijl

Dutch champion tops Alaphilippe

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) proved strongest in the final sprint between his breakaway companions to win Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday. The Dutch champion led the race onto the final section of the Schavei climb and then launched an unmatched early sprint to take the win ahead of Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) in second, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) third and Michael Matthews (Sunweb) fourth.

"I'm very happy and also proud to be there with three big names in front, and to finish it off like this is kind of like a dream," Van der Poel said in a post-race flash interview.

"I'm really happy and I said before this Classics season that this race suits me the best and I'm glad I could prove that."

Van der Poel, who had been one of the most active during the race, formed part of the winning breakaway when he, along with Alaphilippe, Wellens and Matthews, bridged across to lone escapee Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) on the final lap of three finishing circuits in Overijse that include climbs over Hagaard, Hertstraat, Holstheide, Ijskelderlaan and finally Schavei.

Wellens attacked the five-man breakaway over the Holstheide, and even though he was quickly followed by Alaphilippe, Van der Poel and Matthews, the move distanced Impey with just over 10km to go.

The quartet held a mere 20 seconds on the peloton but they managed to work well enough together to keep the speeds high and the chasing field at bay.

As they approached the final two climbs, however, Alaphilippe jumped over the top of the Ijskelderlaan but it wasn't enough to drop Van der Poel, and Wellens and Matthews clawed their way back up.

Van der Poel led the breakaway onto the final climb of the Schavei then and under the flamme rouge with Matthews, Alaphilippe and Wellens on his wheel.

The four slowed, and looked at one another, which forced an impatient Matthews to take the lead. No one wanted to make the first move, however, and as they looked back, they could see the reduced field barrelling up the climb behind them.

Van der Poel retook the lead with 250 metres to go and then wound up his sprint in pursuit of the day's win. Alaphilippe, Wellens and Matthews tried to respond, but neither had enough left in the tank to come around the Dutch champion and were forced to settle for minor places on the podium.

How it unfolded

Brabantse Pijl's 196.2km between Leuven and Overijse is positioned mid-week, following the end of the cobbled Classics at Paris-Roubaix and the start of the Ardennes Classics – Amstel Gold, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

The day's main breakaway included Dries De Bondt (Corendon-Circus), Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Gobert), Francesco Bongiorno (Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM), Arjen Livyns (Roompot-Charles), Edward Planckaert (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Andrea Peron (Novo Nordisk) and Ludovic Robeet (Wallonie-Bruxelles). At the 100km to go mark, they held steady at three minutes ahead of the main field.

At 70km to go, however, the route hit the finishing circuit that included three laps of the 23.3km loop with five climbs.
The seven men raced onto the final circuits with a slim lead of 35 seconds ahead of the peloton led by Lotto Soudal. As the breakaway hit the Hagaard climb, with pitches of 16 per cent, their gap pushed back out to 55 seconds.

Attacks came out of the main field from Lotto Soudal's Tosh van der Sande and then followed by Deceuninck-QuickStep's Mikkel Honore. Another attack came from Van der Poel over the Herstraat climb, in what was an unsuccessful attempt to connect with the Van der Sande and Honore.

Van der Poel cleared the field again over the Holstheide, and this time he made it across to Van der Sande and Honore, only to find out that the pair didn't want to work with him, and they were eventually brought back into the peloton.

As the race hit the 11 per cent pitches of the Ijskelderlaan, the original breakaway split apart with Backaert, De Bondt, Livyns, Planckaert remaining out front. They the Schavei climb and then through the finish line with only 35 seconds, but their efforts came to an end with 30km to go.

Impey attacked several times during the second lap around the finishing circuit, but he couldn't quite get the gap he wanted until the Ijskelderlaan. He cleared the field and built his lead to 15 seconds as he raced up the Schavei and into the final circuit (23km to go).

Alaphilippe jumped out of the field over the top of the Hertstraat with Wellens, Matthews and Van der Poel in pursuit. The four men reached Impey to form what was the winning move.

Working for sprinter Sonny Colbrelli, Bahrain-Merida sent five men to the front of the peloton in an attempt to bring back the heavy-hitters, but the gap stretched out to 30 seconds with three climbs to go - Holstheide, Ijskelderlaan, and Schavei.

With Impey distanced on the Holstheide, the race came down to four men racing for the win with two climbs remaining. They worked well together until they reached the Schavei, where Van der Poel won both the tactical battle and the sprint to the finish line.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus4:35:11 
2Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep  
3Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
4Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb  
5Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:11 
6Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education First0:00:12 
7Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Dimension Data  
8Alexander Kamp (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling Team  
9Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep  
10Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Roompot-Charles  
11Justin Jules (Fra) Wallonie Bruxelles0:00:18 
12Quentin Pacher (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel  
13Dimitri Peyskens (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles  
14Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy  
15Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Dimension Data  
16Nick van der Lijke (Ned) Roompot-Charles  
17Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
18Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy  
19Patrick Müller (Swi) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel  
20Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Wanty-Gobert  
21Marc Hirschi (Swi) Team Sunweb  
22Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates  
23Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Corendon-Circus0:00:23 
24Davide Gabburo (Ita) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM  
25Dion Smith (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott  
26Jérémy Maison (Fra) Arkéa Samsic  
27Petr Vakoc (Cze) Deceuninck-QuickStep  
28Huub Duijn (Ned) Roompot-Charles  
29Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
30Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie  
31Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
32Charles Planet (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk  
33Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Gobert0:00:28 
34Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles  
35Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
36Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
37Clément Russo (Fra) Arkéa Samsic0:00:37 
38Simone Petilli (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  
39Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM  
40Mathias De Witte (Bel) Roompot-Charles  
41Dayer Quintana (Col) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM0:00:41 
42Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep0:00:43 
43Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:00:48 
44Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:49 
45Otto Vergaerde (Bel) Corendon-Circus  
46Bryan Coquard (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel  
47Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy  
48Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott0:00:54 
49Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida  
50Cameron Meyer (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott  
51Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Mitchelton-Scott  
52Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Roompot-Charles  
53Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty-Gobert0:01:05 
54Simone Velasco (Ita) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM  
55Kevin Deltombe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:01:09 
56Amael Moinard (Fra) Arkéa Samsic  
57Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Wanty-Gobert0:01:15 
58Pieter Weening (Ned) Roompot-Charles0:01:18 
59Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:01:25 
60Stijn Devolder (Bel) Corendon-Circus0:01:30 
61Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First  
62Nathan Brown (USA) EF Education First0:01:33 
63Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie0:01:42 
64Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb0:02:02 
65Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Gobert0:02:14 
66Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida  
67Kevin Reza (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel  
68Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott  
69Andreas Nielsen (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling Team0:03:17 
70August Jensen (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy0:03:32 
71Jimmy Janssens (Bel) Corendon-Circus0:07:05 
72Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM0:07:17 
73Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct Energie0:08:13 
74Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep0:08:35 
75Emil Nygaard Vinjebo (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling Team  
76Dries De Bondt (Bel) Corendon-Circus  
77Dennis van Winden (Ned) Israel Cycling Academy  
78Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
79Daniel Turek (Cze) Israel Cycling Academy  
80Callum Scotson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott  
81Rein Taaramäe (Est) Direct Energie  
82Aime De Gendt (Bel) Wanty-Gobert  
83Benjamin Declercq (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
84Arjen Livyns (Bel) Roompot-Charles  
85Kim Magnusson (Swe) Riwal Readynez Cycling Team  
86Logan Owen (USA) EF Education First  
87Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal  
88Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
89Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie0:08:54 
90Brice Feillu (Fra) Arkéa Samsic  
91Romain Le Roux (Fra) Arkéa Samsic  
92Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:08:57 
93Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-Merida  
94Lennard Kämna (Ger) Team Sunweb  
95Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:08:59 
96Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-Merida  
97Edward Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
98James Whelan (Aus) EF Education First0:12:08 
99Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates  
100Clément Carisey (Fra) Israel Cycling Academy0:12:29 
101Jay Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data0:13:02 
102Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida  
103Tom Bohli (Swi) UAE Team Emirates  
104Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep  
105Aaron Verwilst (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
106Jonas Aaen (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling Team  
107Arnaud Courteille (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel  
108Ludovic Robeet (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles  
109Roberto González (Pan) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM0:13:09 
110Lionel Taminiaux (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles0:13:13 
DNFUmberto Poli (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNFStephen Clancy (Irl) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNFKris Boeckmans (Bel) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel  
DNFTim Declercq (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep  
DNFFabien Grellier (Fra) Direct Energie  
DNFFrancesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM  
DNFJerome Baugnies (Bel) Wanty-Gobert  
DNFJesper Hansen (Den) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFAndrea Peron (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNFTom Wirtgen (Lux) Wallonie Bruxelles  
DNFEmils Liepins (Lat) Wallonie Bruxelles  
DNFLoic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFPhilipp Walsleben (Ger) Corendon-Circus  
DNFMichael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb  
DNFTorkil Veyhe (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling Team  
DNFJohannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Sunweb  
DNFNicolai Philip Brochner Nielsen (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling Team  
DNFJulien Vermote (Bel) Dimension Data  
DNFRasmus Tiller (Nor) Dimension Data  
DNFRoberto Ferrari (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  
DNFReinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data  
DNFMehdi Benhamouda (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNFLars Bak (Den) Dimension Data  
DNFBrian Kamstra (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNFSimon Sellier (Fra) Direct Energie  
DNFAlan Riou (Fra) Arkéa Samsic  
DNFSam Brand (GBr) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNFJasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates  
DNFAlex Howes (USA) EF Education First  
DNFNikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb  
DNFG Lawson Craddock  
DNFMaxime Daniel (Fra) Arkéa Samsic  
DNFEmiel Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
DNSArthur Vichot (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel  

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