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De Brabantse Pijl - La Flèche Brabançonne 2021

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Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) wins the 2021 Brabantse Pijl

Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) wins the 2021 Brabantse Pijl (Image credit: Getty Images)

Tom Pidcock sprints to win at De Brabantse Pijl

Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) scored his first major victory, taking out the 2021 Brabantse Pijl ahead of Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) from a three-man escape.

"I knew I was going well into this race, I had a good week's training with no interruptions. I knew I was going to be good and it's nice to actually be good until the finish," Pidcock said.

The trio were clearly the strongest in the 201.7km race that featured 29 short, sharp climbs, including five on each of the three local finishing circuits. Pidcock made his intentions clear early, attacking on the Hertstraat with 38km to go and drawing Van Aert and Trentin out.

They bridged across to a conglomeration of earlier attacks to form a group of 16 leaders. Trentin put in a solo move that lasted 15 kilometres and ended when Pidcock and Van Aert attacked on the Hertstraat climb and made it up to the Italian before the Moskestraat with 11km to go.

A chasing group was nipping at their heels as they watched each other up the final climb to the finish but Pidcock bided his time and pounced after Van Aert opened up the sprint.

"I was getting nervous, they were coming from behind. I waited and waited. Wout went - I kind of got a little boxed in and then rushed to Wout and came past him," Pidcock explained.

Trentin did just enough to complete the podium ahead of Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe).

Brabantse Pijl race history

The Brabantse Pijl, also referred to Flèche Brabançonne, is the final Flanders Classics event for the pro peloton. Dating back to 1961, Belgian riders had a stronghold on the number of wins with Edwig Van Hooydonck holding the record with the most victories, four total. Johan Museeuw, Johan Capiot, both of Belgium, and Oscar Freire of Spain, each have three victories.

Beginning in 2008, the race start was changed from Zaventem to Leuven, and until 2009, the finish was located in Alsemberg and changed in 2010 to Overijse. Also in 2010, the calendar position for Brabantse Pijl shifted from the Sunday before the Tour of Flanders to the Wednesday before Amstel Gold Race.

In 2011, the race was upgraded to a 1.HC event, which is now 1.Pro. Part of the route will be used for the 2021 UCI Road World Championships in Flanders in September.

Brabantse Pijl 2021 teams

  • AG2R Citroën Team
  • Alpecin-Fenix
  • B&B Hotels p/b KTM
  • Bahrain - Victorious
  • Bingoal WB
  • Bora-Hansgrohe
  • Cofidis
  • Deceuninck-QuickStep
  • EF Education-Nippo
  • Groupama - FDJ
  • Ineos Grenadiers
  • Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
  • Israel Start-up Nation
  • Lotto Soudal
  • Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
  • Team BikeExchange
  • Team DSM
  • Team Jumbo-Visma
  • Team Qhubeka Assos
  • Team Total Direct Energie
  • Trek - Segafredo
  • UAE-Team Emirates
  • Uno-X Pro Cycling Team

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