The Brabantse Pijl is the final race of the Flanders Classics series that began back in February at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, and it serves as a gentle transition from the harsh cobbles of the Flemish Ardennes to the French-speaking side of the country where La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège will be contested.
The race starts in Leuven, then sweeps south of Brussels, taking in 11 climbs before circling around the finish in Schavei three times, adding another 15 helling to the route. The final kick comes with 200m to go, favouring the punchy riders like last year's winner Ben Hermans (BMC), Philippe Gilbert, or Peter Sagan.
Sagan's Tinkoff team chose not to include the race in its calendar, and Gilbert is out with a broken finger, leaving Hermans to defend his title against the likes of Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge), Tom-Jelte Slagter (Cannondale), Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quickstep) and Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal).
Czech champion Petr Vakoč won the race thanks to help from Alaphilippe, out-pacing Enrico Gasparotto (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) in the uphill finish.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Petr Vakoc (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step||4:48:50|
|2||Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||0:00:06|
|3||Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal||0:00:12|
|4||Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie||0:00:20|
|5||Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge|
|6||Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF|
|7||Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton|
|8||Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step|
|9||Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale Pro Cycling|
|10||Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team|
- De Brabantse Pijl - La Fleche Brabanconne Start list
- De Brabantse Pijl - La Fleche Brabanconne overview, highlights, winners and previous editions