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Gilbert wins De Brabantse Pijl

By:
Brecht Decaluwé

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) Team Result
1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 4:40:38  
2 Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
3 Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ 0:01:03  
4 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
5 Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:01:04  
6 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team 0:01:18  
7 Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:01:23  
8 Gianni Meersman (Bel) FDJ 0:01:39  
9 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team 0:01:41  
10 Simon Geschke (Ger) Skil - Shimano 0:02:19  
11 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team    
12 Ben Hermans (Bel) Team RadioShack    
13 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
14 Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank Cycling Team    
15 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team    
16 Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team    
17 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) FDJ    
18 Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team    
19 Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) HTC-Highroad    
20 Johan Coenen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
21 Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team    
22 Davy Commeyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
23 Frantisek Rabon (Cze) HTC-Highroad    
24 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
25 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ    
26 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
27 Michel Kreder (Ned) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
28 Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
29 Peter Stetina (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
30 Sander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
31 Craig Lewis (USA) HTC-Highroad    
32 Jesus Rosendo Prado (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada    
33 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli    
34 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Skil - Shimano    
35 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team    
36 Julien Vermote (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team    
37 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
38 Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua & Sapone    
39 Philip Deignan (Irl) Team RadioShack    
40 Francesco Failli (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli    
41 Julien El Fares (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
42 Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Skil - Shimano    
43 Geert Verheyen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
44 Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
45 Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
46 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
47 Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
48 Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:02:36  
49 Pablo Lechuga Rodriguez (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada    
50 Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
51 Gert Dockx (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
52 Pieter Serry (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
53 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
54 Christophe Kern (Fra) Team Europcar 0:02:44  
55 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
56 Thomas Degand (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent    
57 Ryan Anderson (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10 0:02:52  
58 Jose Vicente Toribio Alcolea (Spa) Andalucia Caja Granada    
59 Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet 0:03:00  
60 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:03:02  
61 Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ 0:03:23  
62 Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:03:31  
63 Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli 0:03:42  
64 Jürgen Van Goolen (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent    
65 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:04:09  
66 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar 0:04:42  
67 Ronan McLaughlin (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly 0:06:08  
68 Francesco Di Paolo (Ita) Acqua & Sapone 0:06:09