Van der Poel wins De Brabantse Pijl

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) proved strongest in the final sprint between his breakaway companions to win Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday. The Dutch champion led the race onto the final section of the Schavei climb and then launched an unmatched early sprint to take the win ahead of Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) in second, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) third and Michael Matthews (Sunweb) fourth.

"I'm very happy and also proud to be there with three big names in front, and to finish it off like this is kind of like a dream," Van der Poel said in a post-race flash interview.

Van der Poel, who had been one of the most active during the race, formed part of the winning breakaway when he, along with Alaphilippe, Wellens and Matthews, bridged across to lone escapee Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) on the final lap of three finishing circuits in Overijse that include climbs over Hagaard, Hertstraat, Holstheide, Ijskelderlaan and finally Schavei.

Wellens attacked the five-man breakaway over the Holstheide, and even though he was quickly followed by Alaphilippe, Van der Poel and Matthews, the move distanced Impey with just over 10km to go.

The quartet held a mere 20 seconds on the peloton but they managed to work well enough together to keep the speeds high and the chasing field at bay.

As they approached the final two climbs, however, Alaphilippe jumped over the top of the Ijskelderlaan but it wasn't enough to drop Van der Poel, and Wellens and Matthews clawed their way back up.

Van der Poel led the breakaway onto the final climb of the Schavei then and under the flamme rouge with Matthews, Alaphilippe and Wellens on his wheel.

The four slowed, and looked at one another, which forced an impatient Matthews to take the lead. No one wanted to make the first move, however, and as they looked back, they could see the reduced field barrelling up the climb behind them.

Van der Poel retook the lead with 250 metres to go and then wound up his sprint in pursuit of the day's win. Alaphilippe, Wellens and Matthews tried to respond, but neither had enough left in the tank to come around the Dutch champion and were forced to settle for minor places on the podium.

How it unfolded

Brabantse Pijl's 196.2km between Leuven and Overijse is positioned mid-week, following the end of the cobbled Classics at Paris-Roubaix and the start of the Ardennes Classics – Amstel Gold, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

The day's main breakaway included Dries De Bondt (Corendon-Circus), Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Gobert), Francesco Bongiorno (Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM), Arjen Livyns (Roompot-Charles), Edward Planckaert (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Andrea Peron (Novo Nordisk) and Ludovic Robeet (Wallonie-Bruxelles). At the 100km to go mark, they held steady at three minutes ahead of the main field.

At 70km to go, however, the route hit the finishing circuit that included three laps of the 23.3km loop with five climbs.
The seven men raced onto the final circuits with a slim lead of 35 seconds ahead of the peloton led by Lotto Soudal. As the breakaway hit the Hagaard climb, with pitches of 16 per cent, their gap pushed back out to 55 seconds.

Attacks came out of the main field from Lotto Soudal's Tosh van der Sande and then followed by Deceuninck-QuickStep's Mikkel Honore. Another attack came from Van der Poel over the Herstraat climb, in what was an unsuccessful attempt to connect with the Van der Sande and Honore.

Van der Poel cleared the field again over the Holstheide, and this time he made it across to Van der Sande and Honore, only to find out that the pair didn't want to work with him, and they were eventually brought back into the peloton.

As the race hit the 11 per cent pitches of the Ijskelderlaan, the original breakaway split apart with Backaert, De Bondt, Livyns, Planckaert remaining out front. They the Schavei climb and then through the finish line with only 35 seconds, but their efforts came to an end with 30km to go.

Impey attacked several times during the second lap around the finishing circuit, but he couldn't quite get the gap he wanted until the Ijskelderlaan. He cleared the field and built his lead to 15 seconds as he raced up the Schavei and into the final circuit (23km to go).

Alaphilippe jumped out of the field over the top of the Hertstraat with Wellens, Matthews and Van der Poel in pursuit. The four men reached Impey to form what was the winning move.

Working for sprinter Sonny Colbrelli, Bahrain-Merida sent five men to the front of the peloton in an attempt to bring back the heavy-hitters, but the gap stretched out to 30 seconds with three climbs to go - Holstheide, Ijskelderlaan, and Schavei.

With Impey distanced on the Holstheide, the race came down to four men racing for the win with two climbs remaining. They worked well together until they reached the Schavei, where Van der Poel won both the tactical battle and the sprint to the finish line.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus4:35:11
2Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStepRow 1 - Cell 2
3Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 2 - Cell 2
4Michael Matthews (Aus) Team SunwebRow 3 - Cell 2
5Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:11
6Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education First0:00:12
7Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Dimension DataRow 6 - Cell 2
8Alexander Kamp (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStepRow 8 - Cell 2
10Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Roompot-CharlesRow 9 - Cell 2
11Justin Jules (Fra) Wallonie Bruxelles0:00:18
12Quentin Pacher (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B HotelRow 11 - Cell 2
13Dimitri Peyskens (Bel) Wallonie BruxellesRow 12 - Cell 2
14Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 13 - Cell 2
15Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Dimension DataRow 14 - Cell 2
16Nick van der Lijke (Ned) Roompot-CharlesRow 15 - Cell 2
17Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 16 - Cell 2
18Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 17 - Cell 2
19Patrick Müller (Swi) Vital Concept-B&B HotelRow 18 - Cell 2
20Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Wanty-GobertRow 19 - Cell 2
21Marc Hirschi (Swi) Team SunwebRow 20 - Cell 2
22Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team EmiratesRow 21 - Cell 2
23Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Corendon-Circus0:00:23
24Davide Gabburo (Ita) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTMRow 23 - Cell 2
25Dion Smith (NZl) Mitchelton-ScottRow 24 - Cell 2
26Jérémy Maison (Fra) Arkéa SamsicRow 25 - Cell 2
27Petr Vakoc (Cze) Deceuninck-QuickStepRow 26 - Cell 2
28Huub Duijn (Ned) Roompot-CharlesRow 27 - Cell 2
29Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 28 - Cell 2
30Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 29 - Cell 2
31Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 30 - Cell 2
32Charles Planet (Fra) Team Novo NordiskRow 31 - Cell 2
33Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Gobert0:00:28
34Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Wallonie BruxellesRow 33 - Cell 2
35Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 34 - Cell 2
36Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 35 - Cell 2
37Clément Russo (Fra) Arkéa Samsic0:00:37
38Simone Petilli (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 37 - Cell 2
39Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTMRow 38 - Cell 2
40Mathias De Witte (Bel) Roompot-CharlesRow 39 - Cell 2
41Dayer Quintana (Col) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM0:00:41
42Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep0:00:43
43Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:00:48
44Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:49
45Otto Vergaerde (Bel) Corendon-CircusRow 44 - Cell 2
46Bryan Coquard (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B HotelRow 45 - Cell 2
47Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 46 - Cell 2
48Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott0:00:54
49Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 48 - Cell 2
50Cameron Meyer (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 49 - Cell 2
51Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Mitchelton-ScottRow 50 - Cell 2
52Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Roompot-CharlesRow 51 - Cell 2
53Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty-Gobert0:01:05
54Simone Velasco (Ita) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTMRow 53 - Cell 2
55Kevin Deltombe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:01:09
56Amael Moinard (Fra) Arkéa SamsicRow 55 - Cell 2
57Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Wanty-Gobert0:01:15
58Pieter Weening (Ned) Roompot-Charles0:01:18
59Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:01:25
60Stijn Devolder (Bel) Corendon-Circus0:01:30
61Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education FirstRow 60 - Cell 2
62Nathan Brown (USA) EF Education First0:01:33
63Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie0:01:42
64Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb0:02:02
65Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Gobert0:02:14
66Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-MeridaRow 65 - Cell 2
67Kevin Reza (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B HotelRow 66 - Cell 2
68Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 67 - Cell 2
69Andreas Nielsen (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling Team0:03:17
70August Jensen (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy0:03:32
71Jimmy Janssens (Bel) Corendon-Circus0:07:05
72Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM0:07:17
73Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct Energie0:08:13
74Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep0:08:35
75Emil Nygaard Vinjebo (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling TeamRow 74 - Cell 2
76Dries De Bondt (Bel) Corendon-CircusRow 75 - Cell 2
77Dennis van Winden (Ned) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 76 - Cell 2
78Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 77 - Cell 2
79Daniel Turek (Cze) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 78 - Cell 2
80Callum Scotson (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 79 - Cell 2
81Rein Taaramäe (Est) Direct EnergieRow 80 - Cell 2
82Aime De Gendt (Bel) Wanty-GobertRow 81 - Cell 2
83Benjamin Declercq (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 82 - Cell 2
84Arjen Livyns (Bel) Roompot-CharlesRow 83 - Cell 2
85Kim Magnusson (Swe) Riwal Readynez Cycling TeamRow 84 - Cell 2
86Logan Owen (USA) EF Education FirstRow 85 - Cell 2
87Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto SoudalRow 86 - Cell 2
88Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 87 - Cell 2
89Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie0:08:54
90Brice Feillu (Fra) Arkéa SamsicRow 89 - Cell 2
91Romain Le Roux (Fra) Arkéa SamsicRow 90 - Cell 2
92Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:08:57
93Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 92 - Cell 2
94Lennard Kämna (Ger) Team SunwebRow 93 - Cell 2
95Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:08:59
96Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-MeridaRow 95 - Cell 2
97Edward Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 96 - Cell 2
98James Whelan (Aus) EF Education First0:12:08
99Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team EmiratesRow 98 - Cell 2
100Clément Carisey (Fra) Israel Cycling Academy0:12:29
101Jay Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data0:13:02
102Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 101 - Cell 2
103Tom Bohli (Swi) UAE Team EmiratesRow 102 - Cell 2
104Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStepRow 103 - Cell 2
105Aaron Verwilst (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 104 - Cell 2
106Jonas Aaen (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling TeamRow 105 - Cell 2
107Arnaud Courteille (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B HotelRow 106 - Cell 2
108Ludovic Robeet (Bel) Wallonie BruxellesRow 107 - Cell 2
109Roberto González (Pan) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM0:13:09
110Lionel Taminiaux (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles0:13:13
DNFUmberto Poli (Ita) Team Novo NordiskRow 110 - Cell 2
DNFStephen Clancy (Irl) Team Novo NordiskRow 111 - Cell 2
DNFKris Boeckmans (Bel) Vital Concept-B&B HotelRow 112 - Cell 2
DNFTim Declercq (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStepRow 113 - Cell 2
DNFFabien Grellier (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 114 - Cell 2
DNFFrancesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTMRow 115 - Cell 2
DNFJerome Baugnies (Bel) Wanty-GobertRow 116 - Cell 2
DNFJesper Hansen (Den) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 117 - Cell 2
DNFAndrea Peron (Ita) Team Novo NordiskRow 118 - Cell 2
DNFTom Wirtgen (Lux) Wallonie BruxellesRow 119 - Cell 2
DNFEmils Liepins (Lat) Wallonie BruxellesRow 120 - Cell 2
DNFLoic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 121 - Cell 2
DNFPhilipp Walsleben (Ger) Corendon-CircusRow 122 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Storer (Aus) Team SunwebRow 123 - Cell 2
DNFTorkil Veyhe (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling TeamRow 124 - Cell 2
DNFJohannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team SunwebRow 125 - Cell 2
DNFNicolai Philip Brochner Nielsen (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling TeamRow 126 - Cell 2
DNFJulien Vermote (Bel) Dimension DataRow 127 - Cell 2
DNFRasmus Tiller (Nor) Dimension DataRow 128 - Cell 2
DNFRoberto Ferrari (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 129 - Cell 2
DNFReinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension DataRow 130 - Cell 2
DNFMehdi Benhamouda (Fra) Team Novo NordiskRow 131 - Cell 2
DNFLars Bak (Den) Dimension DataRow 132 - Cell 2
DNFBrian Kamstra (Ned) Team Novo NordiskRow 133 - Cell 2
DNFSimon Sellier (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 134 - Cell 2
DNFAlan Riou (Fra) Arkéa SamsicRow 135 - Cell 2
DNFSam Brand (GBr) Team Novo NordiskRow 136 - Cell 2
DNFJasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team EmiratesRow 137 - Cell 2
DNFAlex Howes (USA) EF Education FirstRow 138 - Cell 2
DNFNikias Arndt (Ger) Team SunwebRow 139 - Cell 2
DNFG Lawson CraddockRow 140 - Cell 2
DNFMaxime Daniel (Fra) Arkéa SamsicRow 141 - Cell 2
DNFEmiel Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 142 - Cell 2
DNSArthur Vichot (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B HotelRow 143 - Cell 2

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