Greipel triumphs at Brussels Cycling Classic

Degenkolb, Bouhanni round out podium

German national champion André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) sprinted to victory today in the inaugural edition of the Brussels Cycling Classic, the new iteration of the former Paris-Brussels semi-classic.

Greipel's compatriot John Degenkolb followed in second while the top three was rounded out by Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ).

"Every one of us was committed to prepare for a bunch sprint, his was good teamwork," said Greipel. "It turned out well and I'm really happy. Every victory is special, but certainly here in Brussels as we are a Belgian team. The sponsors and riders are happy with the victory."

Lars Boom (Belkin) nearly stole the show with a solo move late in the race. Boom was part of an escape which formed in the closing kilometres and after dropping his breakaway companions he rode alone to the finish only to be caught with 300 meters remaining.

"When I did my turn at the front, the guys behind me slowed down," Boom said. "I took the first turn at maximum speed and was all by myself with a pretty large gap.

"At one point I thought, 'I’m going to make it'. However, the final kilometer was slightly uphill and it was then I saw the peloton approaching quickly. All in all, it was a good day of racing for me."

Previously a point-to-point race starting in France and ending in Belgium, the new 197km parcours now takes place entirely within Belgium with its start and finish now in Brussels. The route is a counterclockwise loop extending to its Eastern-most point in Tienen and on the return, after 120km of racing, the peloton faced two laps of a hilly, 23km circuit before heading back to the finish in Brussels.

The break of the day was initially comprised of three riders, Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Movistar), Julien Vermote (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Bjorn Thurau (Team Europcar), but the trio were joined by three more, Koen Barbe (Crelan-Euphony), Florent Barle (Cofidis) and Laurens De Vreese (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), to form a six-strong escape after 51 kilometers of racing.

Upon hitting the 23km circuit the break's lead stood at 3:25, but on the second ascent of the Smeysberg climb the escape's numbers dropped to four as Barbe and Barle lost contact.

The remaining quartet fought hard to make it to the finish ahead of the peloton, but their escape effort fell seven kilometers short, however. A counter-attack was launched after the break was neutralised containing Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM), Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and Lars Boom (Belkin). Boom would soon head out alone and his solo effort nearly came to fruition, but the Dutchman was swept up by a hard-charging peloton inside the final kilometer.

The Brussels Cycling Classic would now be decided by the sprinters with Greipel proving too fast for his rivals.

"At the end Lars Boom jumped away, he is one of the guys who always tries a stunt like this," said Greipel. "We had to gamble for the bunch sprint and hope he couldn't hold the gap.

"In the last corner I was a bit far back, but Marcel Sieberg brought me to about tenth position. Then I had to go really early for the sprint, I already started with 350 meters to go. I think that's why I could surprise everyone.

"When the last lead-out guy for Bouhanni finished his job I had to move to the left, but luckily I could pass. Without that I think I would have even gotten a bigger gap."

Full Results
1André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol4:55:58 
2John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano  
3Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ.fr  
4Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha  
5Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
6Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka  
7Danny van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
8Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
9Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar  
10Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
11Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
12Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
13Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team  
14Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
15Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) AG2R La Mondiale  
16Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
17Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
18Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha  
19Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
20Renaud Dion (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
21Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
22Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ.fr  
23Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
24Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ.fr  
25Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
26Marko Kump (Slo) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
27Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
28Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
29Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
30Daniele Bennati (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
31Dominic Klemme (Ger) IAM Cycling  
32Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar  
33Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
34Antoine Demoitie (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles  
35Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha  
36Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar  
37Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Ventilair-Steria Cycling Team  
38Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
39Dion Smith (NZl) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
40Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
41Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
42Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
43Laurent Evrard (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles  
44Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling  
45Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol  
46Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Crelan-Euphony0:00:13 
47Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
48Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling0:00:17 
49Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
50Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka  
51Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
52Youcef Reguigui (Alg) MTN-Qhubeka  
53Elia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
54Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling  
55Gregor Gazvoda (Slo) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
56Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar0:00:22 
57Enea Cambianica (Swi) Lampre-Merida  
58Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
59Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
60Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
61James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
62Kenny Robert van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
63Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
64Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
65Davide Appollonio (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
66Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:00:36 
67Dylan Teuns (Bel) Ventilair-Steria Cycling Team  
68Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
69Tim Van Speybroeck (Bel) Ventilair-Steria Cycling Team  
70Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano  
71Timothy Dupont (Bel) Ventilair-Steria Cycling Team0:00:43 
72Ricardo Mestre (Por) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:00:45 
73Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
74Jonathan Dufrasne (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles  
75Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
76Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
77Jos Van Emden (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
78Davide Villwlla (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
79Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
80Matthias Krizek (Aut) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
81Federico Canuti (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
82Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
83Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida  
84Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
85Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
86Arman Kamyshev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
87Gert Joeaar (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
88Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
89Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar  
90Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
91Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
92Andrea Palini (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
93Maarten Wynants (Bel) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
94Jesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team  
95Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus) Katusha  
96Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ.fr  
97Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
98Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
99Kristof Goddaert (Bel) IAM Cycling0:00:59 
100Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
101Laurent Pichon (Fra) FDJ.fr0:01:01 
102Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ.fr0:01:05 
103Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:01:09 
104Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Argos-Shimano  
105Quentin Bertholet (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles  
106Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
107Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar Team  
108Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
109Paul Martens (Ger) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
110Andreas Stauff (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka  
111Thomas Leezer (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
112Stig Broeckx (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
113Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
114Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:01:29 
115Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
116Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
117Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ.fr  
118Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
119Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha  
120Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team  
121Timofey Kritskiy (Rus) Katusha  
122Iljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
123Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
124Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol  
125Sander Cordeel (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
126Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:50 
127Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
128Angelo Tulik (Fra) Team Europcar  
129Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team0:02:19 
130Tony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar  
131Francois Parisien (Can) Team Argos-Shimano  
132Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:02:29 
133Rudiger Selig (Ger) Katusha  
134Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar  
135Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Accent Jobs-Wanty0:02:35 
136Olivier Chevalier (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles  
137Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
138Mart Ojavee (Est) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
139Gregory Habeaux (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty0:03:15 
140Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano0:03:33 
141Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano  
142Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar Team  
143David Boucher (Fra) FDJ.fr0:04:07 
144Florent Barle (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
145Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha  
146Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement0:06:13 
147Robert Vrecer (Slo) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
148Julien Stassen (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles  
149Florian Guillou (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
150Boris Dron (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles  
151Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
152Zico Waeytens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
153Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
154Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
155Rick Flens (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
156Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
157Steffen Radochla (Ger) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
158Fabio Polazzi (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles  
159Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
160Marco Bandiera (Ita) IAM Cycling  
161Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:09:58 
162Nikodemus Holler (Ger) Thüringer Energie Team  
163Edwig Cammaerts (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:11:09 
164Kevyn Ista (Bel) IAM Cycling0:11:52 
165Matt Brammeier (Irl) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:15:44 
166Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
167Jonathan Breyne (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
168Martin Wesemann (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka  
169Kurt Hovelijnck (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
170Ioannis Tamouridis (Gre) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
171Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
172Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale  
173Jeroem Lepla (Bel) Ventilair-Steria Cycling Team  
174Benjamin Verraes (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
175Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
176Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
177Koen Barbe (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
178Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
179Rutger Roelants (Bel) Ventilair-Steria Cycling Team  
180Johann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka  
181Frederik Vandewiele (Bel) Ventilair-Steria Cycling Team  
182Francesco Van Coppernolle (Bel) Ventilair-Steria Cycling Team  
DNSNiki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
DNSAlex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team  
DNSMuhamad Adiq Husainie Othman (Mas) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
DNFOlivier Kaisen (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
DNFYann Huguet (Fra) Team Argos-Shimano  
DNFPim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
DNFJure Kocjan (Slo) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFAndrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team  
DNFMichael Rogers (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
DNFThomas Degand (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
DNFStijn Steels (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
DNFJang Chan Jae (Kor) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
DNFFabian Schnaidt (Ger) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
DNFMatteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling  
DNFIgnatas Konovalovas (Ltu) MTN-Qhubeka  
DNFMartin Reimer (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka  

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