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Colbrelli wins Brabantse Pijl

Bahrain-Merida’s Sonny Colbrelli surged to victory at Wednesday’s Brabantse Pijl, getting clear of the peloton with a select group in the final 40 kilometres and taking a convincing win at the line in Overijse.

Defending champion Petr Vakoc (Quick-Step Floors) bridged up to the move in the closing kilometres to claim runner-up honours on the day, while Lotto Soudal’s Tiesj Benoot rounded out the podium in third.

"That was a tough race today, and we had to work really hard to stay out of reach of the peloton," Colbrelli said before the podium ceremony. "I’m very happy to have won this race, all the more so as the Quick-Step team tried all it could in the finale. This was the best possible preparation for the Amstel Gold Race, both for me and the entire team."

Colbrelli was instrumental in springing the decisive move, jumping clear just as the bunch was closing down on the day’s main breakaway. With teammate Grega Bole in the escape, along with the likes of Benoot, Silvan Dillier (BMC Racing) and Christopher Juul-Jensen (Orica-Scott), the move quickly opened up a gap as the peloton reabsorbed riders form the early breakaway.

Although their advantage never stretched out too much more than 30 seconds, and with several teams in the peloton hoping to close things down before the finish, the escape stubbornly hung on out front, with Colbrelli exhorting his fellow escapees to push on at every opportunity.

Vakoc and Lotto Soudal’s Tim Wellens came across in the run-in to the uphill finish, but Colbrelli was not to be denied, easily winning the sprint to the line.

"We had two guys in the front group, so we just kept an eye on them and controlled the others in case they would try an attack in order to close the gap," Vakoc said. "When Tim went, I followed immediately and we joined the leaders inside the final kilometers. I tried to surprise the group with an attack but couldn't drop them. Then Dries [Devenyns] did a perfect job leading me out and I was confident in my sprint, but unfortunately there was a stronger rider than me today.

"I won't hide that I'm a bit disappointed, because Brabantse Pijl is my favourite race of the year and I really wanted the victory," Vakoc said. "But at the same time, this give me even more motivation for Amstel Gold Race."

How it unfolded

The breakaway wasted little time animating the 197km Belgian 1.HC race from Leuven to Overijse, with a group of six going clear in the early kilometres to face the many Ardennes climbs dotted along the course.

The six were Jacques Van Rensburg (Dimension Data), Adam Blythe (Aqua Blue Sport), Lorenzo Rota (Bardiani CSF), Zak Dempster (Israel Cycling Academy), Christophe Prémont (Vérandas Willems-Crelan) and Christophe Masson (WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect).

The group lost Prémont on the first hills of the day, but after just 27km of racing, the five remaining escapees extended their lead to 6:45 over a peloton recovering from a fast opening salvo. Quick-Step Floors and Team Sunweb took up the chasing duties and brought the gap down to 5:50 as the leaders’ advantage continued to slowly come back down.

With 90km remaining, the breakaway’s advantage was down to just 2:42, and the leaders’ effort suffered another blow when Dempster dropped his chain on a cobbled climb and was unable to regain contact.

Van Rensburg, Blythe, Rota and Masson continued on, but their gap was down to less than a minute with 65km to go as they started the first of three 23km finishing circuits that featured five climbs – Hagaard, Hertstraat, Holstheide, IJskelderlaan and Schavei – on each lap.

With the quartet up front leading by just a handful of seconds, the Colbrelli-led counter-attack of about a dozen riders formed a chase, closing in on the breakaway as they approached the start of the penultimate lap.

The chase group quickly caught and dispatched the early breakaway riders, with the new lead group including Bole, Benoot, Laurens De Plus (Quick-Step Floors), Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step Floors), Toms Skujins (Cannondale-Drapac), Juul Jensen (Orica-Scott), Silvan Dillier (BMC Racing), Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo), Victor Campenaerts (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Stijn Devolder (Vérandas Willems-Crelan), among others.

The punchy cobbled climbs on the closing circuit quickly whittled that group down to eight, and they carried just 18 seconds into the final lap. Direct Energie took up the chasing duties, eventually handing off to Cannondale-Drapac, but the leaders’ advantage jumped to 28 seconds with 8.5km to go.

The leaders carried less than 10 seconds into the final climb at 2km, and whether the winner would come from the escape or the chase remained unclear, although the breakaway got a boost when Vakoc bridged up with Wellens and immediately went to the front to add some horsepower.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida4:44:22
2Petr Vakoc (Cze) Quick-Step Floors
3Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
4Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
6Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Orica-Scott
7Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
8Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team
9Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:00:06
10Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
11Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb0:00:12
12Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
13Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie
14Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
15Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
16Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac0:00:16
17Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
18Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
19Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
20Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
21Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Aqua Blue Sport
22Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
23Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
24Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
25Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
26Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
27Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-Scott
28Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
29Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
30Huub Duijn (Ned) Veranda's Willems Crelan
31Jeroen Meijers (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
32Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
33Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team
34Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
35Jan Tratnik (Slo) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
36Martijn Budding (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
37Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
38Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team
39Yoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
40Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
41Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal
42Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
43Bernardo Suaza (Col) Manzana Postobon
44Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:00:24
45Floris Gerts (Ned) BMC Racing Team0:00:27
46Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
47Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
48Artem Nych (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo
49Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-Scott0:00:31
50Aleksei Tcatevich (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo0:00:41
51Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
52Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-Scott
53Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect0:00:46
54Igor Boev (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo
55Maxime Bouet (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
56Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal
57Gregory Habeaux (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
58Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
59Benjamin Declercq (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
60Mark Christian (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport
61Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-Scott
62Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport
63Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac0:01:04
64Simone Ponzi (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:01:07
65Jerome Cousin (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:01:35
66Loïc Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:01:46
67Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data0:01:52
68Brendan Canty (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac0:02:18
69Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:02:29
70Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Srandi Polkowice
71Gaetan Bille (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan0:02:56
72Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:02:59
73Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Drapac0:03:23
74Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac0:04:45
75Charles Planet (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk
76Jakub Kaczmarek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
77Stijn Devolder (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
78Kilian Frankiny (Swi) BMC Racing Team
79Tim Ariesen (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
80Dimitri Peyskens (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
81Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:05:19
82Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct Energie0:06:51
83Benjamin Perry (Can) Israel Cycling Academy0:07:08
84Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani CSF
85José Manuel Díaz (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy
86Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
87Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
88Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
89Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal
90Kevin Deltombe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
91Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
92David Lozano (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk
93Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Sunweb
94Michal Paluta (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
95Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
96Adrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
97Lennard Kämna (Ger) Team Sunweb
98Meiyin Wang (Chn) Bahrain-Merida
99Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
100Antoine Warnier (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
101Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) Dimension Data
102Frantisek Sisr (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
103Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
104Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Sunweb
105Sergey Nikolaev (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo
106Florian Vachon (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
107Elie Gesbert (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
108Fernando Orjuela (Col) Manzana Postobon
109Juan Pablo Villegas (Col) Manzana Postobon
110Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
111Remy Mertz (Bel) Lotto Soudal
112Rob Power (Aus) Orica-Scott
113Steven Lammertink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
114Javier Megias (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk
115Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data
116Jhojan Garcia (Col) Manzana Postobon0:07:51
117Christophe Masson (Fra) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
118Piet Allegaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
119Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling Academy0:08:11
120Tom Bohli (Swi) BMC Racing Team
121Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors
122Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data
123Roman Maikin (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo
124Evgeny Shalunov (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo
125Toms Skujins (Lat) Cannondale-Drapac0:08:15
126Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie0:09:45
127Otto Vergaerde (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan0:12:29
DNFPieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFJustin Jules (Fra) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
DNFLukas Spengler (Swi) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
DNFYecid Arturo Sierra (Col) Manzana Postobon
DNFMartijn Tusveld (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
DNFDimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFMichaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFJuan Jose Amador (Col) Manzana Postobon
DNFRomain Guillemois (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFTyler Williams (USA) Israel Cycling Academy
DNFAngelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFArnold Jeannesson (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
DNFPierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
DNFAndrei Solomennikov (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo
DNFNikolay Trusov (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo
DNFZakkari Dempster (Aus) Israel Cycling Academy
DNFRoy Goldstein (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy
DNFMihkel Räim (Est) Israel Cycling Academy
DNFDries De Bondt (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
DNFFabien Grellier (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFAlbert Timmer (Ned) Team Sunweb
DNFYoucef Reguigui (Alg) Dimension Data
DNFBen O'Connor (Aus) Dimension Data
DNFRoy Curvers (Ned) Team Sunweb
DNFSimon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb
DNFChris Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb
DNFSvein Tuft (Can) Orica-Scott
DNFAdam Blythe (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport
DNFMatthew Brammeier (Irl) Aqua Blue Sport
DNFAndrew Fenn (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport
DNFMartyne Irvine (Irl) Aqua Blue Sport
DNFLars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Aqua Blue Sport
DNFMarco Maronese (Ita) Bardiani CSF
DNFVincenzo Albanese (Ita) Bardiani CSF
DNFMirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani CSF
DNFNicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani CSF
DNFLorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani CSF
DNFPaolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani CSF
DNFJetse Bol (Ned) Manzana Postobon
DNFJuan Sebastian Molano (Col) Manzana Postobon
DNFEtienne Van Empel (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
DNFAime De Gendt (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFMartijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk
DNFFabio Calabria (Aus) Team Novo Nordisk
DNFGerd De Keijzer (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk
DNFHendrikus Van Ijzendoorn (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk
DNFMichael Hepburn (Aus) Orica-Scott
DNFChristophe Prémont (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
DNFHamish Schreurs (NZl) Israel Cycling Academy
DNFElias Van Breussegem (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
DNFStef Van Zummeren (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
DNFMark Mcnally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFTim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
DNFMartin Velits (Svk) Quick-Step Floors
DNFDavid Per (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
DNFManuel Senni (Ita) BMC Racing Team
DNFWilliam Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac
DNFBrian Kamstra (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk
DNFRomain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie
DNSWesley Kreder (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert


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