Tom Pidcock sprints to win at De Brabantse Pijl

Tom Pidcock claimed his first major road victory with Ineos Grenadiers, taking out the Brabantse Pijl ahead of the more experienced Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates).

The slight Briton timed his sprint perfectly from the leading trio - patiently waiting as a chasing group began to close in and letting Van Aert start the surge for the line.

Pidcock came off the Gent-Wevelgem winner's wheel with ease and punched the air in celebration.

Trentin, clearly out of gas, drifted in for third.

"I know that sprinting at the end of races like that is not like sprinting for a town sign. I always go into a sprint with confidence," Pidcock said after the race.

He knew that the chasing group, led to the line by Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe), was coming in fast but bided his time.

"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."

Having taken a podium in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne and fifth at Strade Bianche, it was only a matter of time before Pidcock - a U23 world champion in cyclo-cross and mountain bike - climbed onto the top step of a road podium. To win ahead of a rider like Van Aert makes it even more remarkable, but Pidcock suggested that the Belgian may have done too much work.

"Wout was pulling super hard every time we got away. I was doing the same watts to get on his wheel. He was pulling super hard, but maybe too hard in the end.

"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."

The lumpy circuit in Overijse was peppered with short, steep climbs, with five in each of the three local laps. Jumbo-Visma and Ineos Grenadiers closed in on the early attackers on the penultimate circuit before the eventual podium finishers put in their first attack.

Pidcock, Van Aert and Trentin linked up briefly with the earlier escapees but then, after Trentin put in a solo attack with 27km to go. Pidcock and Van Aert waited until the final lap to bridge across and worked together until the final few hundred metres to hold off the rest.

"We showed we were the three strongest riders in the race - it's a deserved win," Trentin said of Pidcock's effort.

Van Aert was disappointed to miss out on a win but said it was a fair fight. "Only Tom was better," Van Aert said. "I felt that a few times with his accelerations. In the sprint my legs filled up and he came over the top.

"It does suck that I missed out on the win again. I was in the selection again but I also came up short again. That's not nice."

How it unfolded

Riders rolled out of the historic centre of Leuven under overcast skies and chilly spring temperatures and got off to a quick start to warm up the legs.

The early breakaway went clear not long after the start, with Bryan Coquard (B&B Hotels p/b KTM), Andreas Leknessund (Team DSM), Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe), Julian Mertens (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Ludovic Robeet (Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles), Anders Skaarseth (Uno-X), and Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal) escaping first, and after a lengthy chase they were joined by Emmanuel Morin (Cofidis) and Kevin Van Melsen (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux).

The peloton allowed the leaders to gain over six minutes before getting to work reeling them back after the midpoint of the 201.7km race.

First Overijse lap

Once they entered the local laps in Overijse after 120km of racing the gap had been slashed in half to 3:25 with Sven Erik Bystrøm (UAE Team Emirates) and Robert Stannard (Team BikeExchange) attacking out of the peloton in pursuit on the first ascent of the newly resurfaced but still steep Moskesstraat.

Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quickstep) and Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) bridged across to Stannard and Bystrøm to create a four-man chasing group dangling tantalisingly ahead off the peloton with 65km to go.

Oscar Riesebeek (Alpecin-Fenix) then attacked and opened up a gap to the field as the leaders held an advantage of 1:47. He gained two companions in Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R Citroën) and Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) as the group of four chasers added to their lead, now 40 seconds up on the main bunch.

After the Hertstraat with 59km to go, Van Melsen had to let go of the leaders. Coquard and then Morin then lost touch with the leaders on the Moskestraat, while further down the climb, the four chasers caught Van Melsen. When the peloton got to the top of the climb, it was 37 seconds from the leaders to the Bystrøm group, 1:16 to Teuns' group and 1:32 to the peloton.

On the Holstheide with 52km to go, the Teuns group made it up to Bystrøm's as Morin was caught to make an eight-man chase. Just behind, Eddie Dunbar (Ineos Grenadiers) put in a stinging attack, pulling away an elite group with Van Aert, Matthews and others but the move was marked out of existence.

With 48km to go, the leaders were 1:38 up the road and the seven chasers in no-man's land in between. On the S-Bocht, the leaders began to come unglued, with Mertens dropped and Meeus and Van Moer having to chase as Leknessund drove the pace.

Two to go

With two laps remaining, the eight-man chase was at 22 seconds and the bunch at 1:12. It soon became nine as Mertens linked up. Meanwhile, Jumbo-Visma and Ineos Grenadiers conspired to bring the gap below the minute mark to the group of now five leaders.

On the fast approach to the Hertstraat with 38km to go, a massive crash disrupted the peloton, with a pair of Deceuninck-Quickstep riders, Luxembourg champion Kevin Geniets all coming to grief when an EF-Nippo rider touched wheels and went down in the middle of the bunch.

Matthews was held up in the melee while up ahead, Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates), Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) went on the attack.

The leaders, chasers and Van Aert's trio all came together with 33km to go to make it 16 at the front. They had 24 seconds on a reduced peloton as Cosnefroy put in a dig on the Holstheide with 30km to go, not getting a gap but shattering the group and leaving only ten remaining.

In a curious move, Trentin clipped off the front with 27km to go and gained a dozen seconds as the nine chasers couldn't agree who would work. This allowed the group of dropped riders to bring them in sight.

On the final lap, it was Trentin, 18 seconds ahead of the Van Aert group, being joined by Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe) while the rest of the chasers were in sight of the peloton about a minute down on Trentin.

Final lap

Trentin's gap was at 25 seconds as the chasers reached the Hertsraat but Pidcock and Van Aert surged on the climb, forcing Stannard and Cosnefroy to lead the chase. Their move lopped 12 seconds off Trentin's advantage.

There were still three climbs to go and the peloton not entirely out of reach as Cofidis' Christoph Laporte surged but 52 seconds was a big ask.

Van Aert and Pidcock brought Trentin to heel ahead of the Moskestraat while the chase - led mainly by Cavagna - kept the trio to 10 seconds.

The climbs began to bite as Van Aert led the trio up the 25th ascent, the Moskestraat. Teuns could see the head of the race and surged with Cosnefroy, distanced their companions, and set off in pursuit of the leaders.

On the Holstheide with 8km to go, there were mere seconds between the three leaders, two chasers and remnants of the escape but Pidcock, Van Aert and Trentin's relentless pace broke the others. Cosnefroy and Teuns went back to the chase, a distant 30 seconds behind with 5km to go. The podium was up the road.

Ahead of the S-Bocht, Pidcock tightened his shoes, Trentin drifted to the back of the trio, leaving Van Aert to lead the way into the final kilometre.

The leaders looked back to see Cosnefroy attacking down the climb and Trentin eased to the front. With 350m to go, he was closing in but Van Aert opened up his sprint early. Pidcock used his draft to get pulled away and had enough to beat the Belgian.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 4:36:27
2Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
3Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:02
4Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:07
5Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
6Robert Stannard (Aus) Team BikeExchange
7Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious
8Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
9Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
10Andreas Leknessund (Nor) Team DSM 0:00:12
11Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:25
12Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team 0:00:48
13Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
14Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
15Milan Menten (Bel) Bingoal WB
16Sylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal
17Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:00:51
18Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis 0:00:53
19Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
20Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
21Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
22Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
23Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
24Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix
25Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal
26Simon Carr (GBr) EF Education-Nippo
27Sander Armée (Bel) Team Qhubeka Assos
28Markus Hoelgaard (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
29Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
30Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
31Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
32Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Total Direct Energie
33Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team BikeExchange
34Luc Wirtgen (Lux) Bingoal WB
35Rob Power (Aus) Team Qhubeka Assos
36Floris De Tier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
37Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
38Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
39Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-up Nation
40Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
41Cyril Lemoine (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM 0:01:10
42Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:17
43Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:01:20
44Frederik Wandahl (Den) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:22
45Stokbro Andreas Nielsen (Den) Team Qhubeka Assos
46Valentin Ferron (Fra) Total Direct Energie
47Jelle Wallays (Bel) Cofidis
48Kevin Vermaerke (USA) Team DSM
49Henri Vandenabeele (Bel) Team DSM
50Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team Emirates
51Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Israel Start-up Nation
52Ryan Gibbons (RSA) UAE Team Emirates
53Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
54Connor Brown (NZl) Team Qhubeka Assos
55Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
56Jonas Iversby Hvideberg (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
57Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
58Paul Martens (Ger) Jumbo-Visma 0:01:25
59Bob Jungels (Lux) AG2R Citroën Team
60Kobe Goossens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
61Ben Tulett (GBr) Alpecin-Fenix
62Aimé De Gendt (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:01:28
63Arjen Livyns (Bel) Bingoal WB 0:01:31
64Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
65Stephen Williams (GBr) Bahrain Victorious 0:01:43
66Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM 0:02:04
67Alex Howes (USA) EF Education-Nippo 0:02:18
68Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:02:19
69Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
70Anders Skaarseth (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
71Jonas Abrahamsen (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team 0:02:27
72Syver Wærsted (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
73Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:03:11
74Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Start-up Nation 0:06:34
75Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
76Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
77Luke Rowe (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
78Alexis Renard (Fra) Israel Start-up Nation
79Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
80Aaron Verwilst (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
81Marijn van den Berg (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
82Eddie Dunbar (Irl) Ineos Grenadiers
83Fabian Lienhard (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
84Sébastien Grignard (Bel) Lotto Soudal
85Eddy Fine (Fra) Cofidis
86Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
87Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education-Nippo
88Ludovic Robeet (Bel) Bingoal WB 0:06:38
89Jordi Meeus (Bel) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:06:42
90Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal
91Rune Herregodts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise 0:07:00
92Patrick Gamper (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
93Alexander Konychev (Ita) Team BikeExchange
94Kenny Molly (Bel) Bingoal WB
95Timo Roosen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
96Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
97Antonio Tiberi (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:07:13
98Leonardo Basso (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers 0:08:53
99Michal Golas (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers
100Edo Goldstein (Isr) Israel Start-Up Nation
101Barnabás Peák (Hun) Team BikeExchange
102Tom Wirtgen (Lux) Bingoal WB
103Ian Garrison (USA) Deceuninck-QuickStep
104Emmanuel Morin (Fra) Cofidis
105Martin Bugge Urianstad (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
106Kristian Kulset (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
107Marlon Gaillard (Fra) Total Direct Energie
108Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) EF Education-Nippo
109Julian Mertens (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
110Jack Bauer (NZl) Team BikeExchange 0:09:12
111Alex Edmondson (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:09:16
112Felix Gall (Aut) Team DSM
DSQGijs Leemreize (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
DNFMattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
DNFMikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep
DNFFlorian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep
DNFKevin Van Melsen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNFOdd Christian Eiking (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNFTomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal
DNFDamien Touze (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
DNFStan Dewulf (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team
DNFEros Capecchi (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
DNFHeinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain Victorious
DNFNils Politt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFMartin Laas (Est) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFThomas Champion (Fra) Cofidis
DNFNathan Haas (Aus) Cofidis
DNFKenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis
DNFHideto Nakane (Jpn) EF Education-Nippo
DNFLogan Owen (USA) EF Education-Nippo
DNFJulius van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-Nippo
DNFKévin Geniets (Lux) Groupama-FDJ
DNFWilliam Bonnet (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNFCameron Wurf (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers
DNFSep Vanmarcke (Bel) Israel Start-up Nation
DNFNorman Vahtra (Est) Israel Start-up Nation
DNFFinn Fisher-Black (NZl) Jumbo-Visma
DNFMichael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange
DNFMarco Brenner (Ger) Team DSM
DNFMartin Salmon (Ger) Team DSM
DNFLeon Heinschke (Ger) Team DSM
DNFReinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Qhubeka Assos
DNFBert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team Qhubeka Assos
DNFKoen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
DNFMichel Ries (Lux) Trek-Segafredo
DNFOliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
DNFPetr Vakoc (Cze) Alpecin-Fenix
DNFBoris Vallee (Bel) Bingoal WB
DNFAaron Van Poucke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFWard Vanhoof (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFBryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
DNFFrederik Backaert (Bel) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
DNFBert De Backer (Bel) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
DNFJulien Morice (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
DNFAlexandre Geniez (Fra) Total Direct Energie
DNFFlorian Maitre (Fra) Total Direct Energie
DNFLorrenzo Manzin (Fra) Total Direct Energie
DNFAnthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie

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