Gilbert wins De Brabantse Pijl

Omega-Pharma Lotto rider too strong for Leukemans

Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) won Brabantse Pijl in a two-man sprint for the line against Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM).

The two Belgians broke clear of a break containing on the final lap along the finishing circuit, dropping Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM), Bram Tankink (Rabobank), Romain Zingle (Cofidis), Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step) and former winner Anthony Geslin (FDJ) and stayed away until the finish, where on the long uphill drag up to the line Gilbert showed his class and his Ardennes form with a powerful sprint.

No early breakaway

While last year's winner Sébastien Rosseler (Radioshack) didn't start, the runner-up from 2010, Thomas De Gendt, showed he wasn't planning to use this day as a training ride. De Gendt attacked right after leaving the historical market when the flag went down. The Belgian, who performed excellently in this year's Paris-Nice, didn't make any distance though. For an hour a group with Kenny De Haes (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Julien El Fares (Cofidis), Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM), Thomas Bonnin (Skil-Shimano) and Andrea Pasqualon (Colnago-CSF Inox) made a gap of three minutes but eventually they were brought back by the Rabobank team.

Vacansoleil-DCM starts the finale

On the Ijskelderlaan – the tenth climb of the day - Vacansoleil-DCM closed the final metres on the leaders and on the steep Schavel with 65km to go Johnny Hoogerland attacked. Right after the first passage of the finish line, while climbing the Hagaard, five men closed the gap to Hoogerland: Bram Tankink (Rabobank), Romain Zingle (Cofidis), Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step), Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM) and former winner Anthony Geslin (FDJ). Vacansoleil and the Quick-Step team put the hand brake on the peloton and the gap to the six quickly ran up to twenty seconds.

At the bottom of the next climb, the cobbled Hertstraat, Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) powered away from the peloton. After the first part on the cobbles he hopped on the pavement and continued his effort. Gilbert closed the gap to the leaders in no time. With another team present in front of the peloton it was clear the breakaway had every chance of going the distance. On the second lap of the finishing circuit they had 50 seconds on the peloton and one lap later the gap was up to 1:15.

The peloton got restless during the third of five laps and eventually a counter-attack from Jerome Pineau (Quick-Step) and Gianni Meersman (FDJ) got away. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) fell short in his effort to join the duo and from that moment on it was over for the peloton.

Leukemans and Gilbert attack the lead group

When starting the final lap the chasing duo were trailing the seven leaders by 1:11. But just before hitting the final lap Leukemans attacked the lead group and the Belgian was joined by compatriot Gilbert. Behind them Zingle was blown away and the four others were left chasing the two strongest men in the race.

The two Belgians survived until the line with Gilbert taking his first win on home soil since last July.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto4:40:38 
2Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
3Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ0:01:03 
4Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
5Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:01:04 
6Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team0:01:18 
7Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:01:23 
8Gianni Meersman (Bel) FDJ0:01:39 
9Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team0:01:41 
10Simon Geschke (Ger) Skil - Shimano0:02:19 
11Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team  
12Ben Hermans (Bel) Team RadioShack  
13Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
14Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank Cycling Team  
15Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
16Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
17Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) FDJ  
18Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team  
19Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) HTC-Highroad  
20Johan Coenen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
21Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team  
22Davy Commeyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
23Frantisek Rabon (Cze) HTC-Highroad  
24Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
25Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ  
26Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
27Michel Kreder (Ned) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
28Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
29Peter Stetina (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
30Sander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
31Craig Lewis (USA) HTC-Highroad  
32Jesus Rosendo Prado (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada  
33Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli  
34Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Skil - Shimano  
35Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team  
36Julien Vermote (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
37Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
38Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
39Philip Deignan (Irl) Team RadioShack  
40Francesco Failli (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli  
41Julien El Fares (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
42Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Skil - Shimano  
43Geert Verheyen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
44Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
45Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
46Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
47Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
48Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:02:36 
49Pablo Lechuga Rodriguez (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada  
50Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
51Gert Dockx (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
52Pieter Serry (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
53Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
54Christophe Kern (Fra) Team Europcar0:02:44 
55Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
56Thomas Degand (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent  
57Ryan Anderson (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C100:02:52 
58Jose Vicente Toribio Alcolea (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada  
59Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:03:00 
60Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:03:02 
61Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ0:03:23 
62Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:03:31 
63Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli0:03:42 
64Jürgen Van Goolen (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent  
65Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:04:09 
66Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar0:04:42 
67Ronan McLaughlin (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly0:06:08 
68Francesco Di Paolo (Ita) Acqua & Sapone0:06:09 
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