Van der Poel wins Grand Prix de Denain

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) took the second victory of his road season at 'mini-cobbled Classic' the Grand Prix de Denain on Sunday. The Dutch road race champion soloed to the line ahead of a charging peloton after attacking on the final cobbled sector of the race.

Marc Sarreau (Groupama-FDJ) won the sprint for second place, three seconds back, while Timothy Dupont (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) took third place.

Van der Poel, who looked like his spring campaign was in danger after crashing hard in the final of Nokere Koerse earlier this week, attacked 40km from the line to catch the breakaway before later going all out for the win.

Used to solo victories during the cyclo-cross season, the 24-year-old rode the final eight kilometres alone after his stinging attack left companions Mihkel Raïm (Israel Cycling Academy) and Alex Kirsch (Trek-Segafredo) in the dust.

“I was still a little bad [from the crash], but when we got to the final, we were in another world,” said Van der Poel after the finish. “I knew I had to get to this last sector of cobbles 9km from the finish.

“I was really going deep to stay ahead. In the final, you are thinking about it, but I didn’t look back to see the peloton. I just gave everything for the line.

“Today we saw how strong the team was – their work was incredible. It was one of the first times I have finished solo at this level and I’m proud of that. It was one of the most difficult victories.”

How it happened

The GP de Denain is one of the newer cobbled one-day races on the calendar, having been a race for the sprinters until last year’s edition. This time around there was 21km of cobbles, spread over 12 sectors, including the Wallers à Haveluy sector which regularly features in Paris-Roubaix.

A group of 15 men got up the road after a fast opening, with their advantage over the peloton reaching a maximum of two minutes at the midway point of the race.

Bert De Backer (Vital Concept-B&B Hotels), Jimmy Janssens, Lasse Norman Hansen (both Corendon-Circus), Mihkel Raïm, Guillaume Boivin (both Israel Cycling Academy) and Alexandre Pichot (Direct Énergie) were among the more notable names to make the break.

As the sectors passed by, the gap decreased, coming down to 45 seconds with 45km and four cobbled sectors left to race. Back in the peloton, van der Poel went on the attack first, going clear on the Marquette à Abscon sector 41km out.

Kirsch followed him, sticking with the cyclocross champion. A couple of kilometres later they had caught the break, and Janssens and Hansen were put to work on the front in service of the team leader. Some 30 seconds back Roompot-Charles were driving the peloton.

Heading into the final 20km, it was back to the cobbles and action in the peloton as attacks flew. Up front, it was Kirsch pushing the pace, with Van der Poel alert to the moves as the break shrunk to 10 riders under the pressure.

With the peloton closing in as the break reached the penultimate cobbled sector, Van der Poel struck again. Only Kirsch and Raïm could follow, forming a leading trio heading into the final 10km.

Van der Poel went for it again with a brutal attack on the final sector. His companions were left floundering in his wake and were swallowed up by the peloton on the run-in. The 20-second gap looked fragile but Van der Poel was in full solo time trial mode and held strong on the run-in to secure an impressive victory.


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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus4:21:39
2Marc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:00:03
3Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-GobertRow 2 - Cell 2
4Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 3 - Cell 2
5Emiel Vermeulen (Bel) Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille MetropoleRow 4 - Cell 2
6Justin Jules (Fra) Wallonie BruxellesRow 5 - Cell 2
7Pierre Barbier (Fra) Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille MetropoleRow 6 - Cell 2
8Bram Welten (Ned) Arkea SamsicRow 7 - Cell 2
9Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 8 - Cell 2
10Romain Cardis (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 9 - Cell 2
11Milan Menten (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 10 - Cell 2
12Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Vital Concept-B&B HotelRow 11 - Cell 2
13Mattia Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 12 - Cell 2
14Marco Mathis (Ger) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 13 - Cell 2
15Andreas Stokbo Nielsen (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling TeamRow 14 - Cell 2
16Damien Touze (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 15 - Cell 2
17Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 16 - Cell 2
18Daniel Lopez Parada (Spa) Burgos-BHRow 17 - Cell 2
19Jelle Mannaerts (Bel) Tarteletto-IsorexRow 18 - Cell 2
20Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 19 - Cell 2
21Kevin Le Cunff (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93Row 20 - Cell 2
22Julien Trarieux (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 21 - Cell 2
23Josip Rumac (Cro) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 22 - Cell 2
24Boy van Poppel (Ned) Roompot-CharlesRow 23 - Cell 2
25Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 24 - Cell 2
26Thomas Joseph (Bel) Tarteletto-IsorexRow 25 - Cell 2
27Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B HotelRow 26 - Cell 2
28Samuel Leroux (Fra) Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille MetropoleRow 27 - Cell 2
29Aime De Gendt (Bel) Wanty-GobertRow 28 - Cell 2
30Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Arkea SamsicRow 29 - Cell 2
31Bert De Backer (Bel) Vital Concept-B&B HotelRow 30 - Cell 2
32Tony Hurel (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93Row 31 - Cell 2
33Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty-GobertRow 32 - Cell 2
34Pierre Idjouadiene (Fra) Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille MetropoleRow 33 - Cell 2
35AurŽlien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 34 - Cell 2
36Aksel Nommela (Est) Wallonie Bruxelles0:00:08
37Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz (Pol) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 36 - Cell 2
38Krister Hagen (Nor) Riwal Readynez Cycling TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
39Tom Dernies (Bel) Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille MetropoleRow 38 - Cell 2
40Ryan Mullen (Irl) Trek-Segafredo0:00:11
41Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling Academy0:00:14
42Lars Boom (Ned) Roompot-Charles0:00:17
43Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:21
44Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Corendon-CircusRow 43 - Cell 2
45Stijn Devolder (Bel) Corendon-Circus0:00:26
46Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles0:00:30
47Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Groupama-FDJRow 46 - Cell 2
48Edward Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:00:47
49Alo Jakin (Est) St Michel-Auber 930:00:48
50Alex Kirsch (Lux) Trek-Segafredo0:01:27
51Mihkel Raim (Est) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 50 - Cell 2
52Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Direct Energie0:02:42
53Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 52 - Cell 2
54Lionel Taminiaux (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles0:02:43
55Jan-Andre Freuler (Swi) Amore & Vita-Prodir0:02:53
56Laurent Pichon (Fra) Arkea SamsicRow 55 - Cell 2
57Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 56 - Cell 2
58Lindsay De Vylder (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 57 - Cell 2
59Loic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 58 - Cell 2
60Mickael Delage (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 59 - Cell 2
61Bagdonas Gediminas (Ltu) AG2R La MondialeRow 60 - Cell 2
62Yoann Paillot (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93Row 61 - Cell 2
63Piet Allegaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 62 - Cell 2
64Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Corendon-Circus0:02:56
65Jimmy Janssens (Bel) Corendon-CircusRow 64 - Cell 2
66Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 65 - Cell 2
67Alexis Guerin (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:03:38
68Tom Wirtgen (Lux) Wallonie Bruxelles0:03:56
69Alan Riou (Fra) Arkea Samsic0:04:49
70Sjoerd van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot-Charles0:05:49
71Jesper Asselman (Ned) Roompot-Charles0:08:37
72Maarten van Trijp (Ned) Corendon-CircusRow 71 - Cell 2
73Marco Benfatto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 72 - Cell 2
74Jeremy Leveau (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 73 - Cell 2
75Lukas Spengler (Swi) Wallonie BruxellesRow 74 - Cell 2
76Stijn Steels (Bel) Roompot-Charles0:09:17
77Tobias Morch Kongstad (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling TeamRow 76 - Cell 2
78Thibault Guernalec (Fra) Arkea SamsicRow 77 - Cell 2
79Julien Morice (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel0:09:49
80Corentin Ermenault (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B HotelRow 79 - Cell 2
81Franklin Six (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles0:10:19
82Jeremy Lecroq (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel0:10:20
83Robbe Ghys (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:12:14
84Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:14:03
85Mattia Viel (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:17:08
86Roy Goldstein (Isr) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 85 - Cell 2
87Alvaro Robredo Crespo (Spa) Burgos-BHRow 86 - Cell 2
88Nils Sinschek (Ned) Team Sunweb DevelopmentRow 87 - Cell 2
89Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 88 - Cell 2
90Manuel Penalver Aniorte (Spa) Burgos-BHRow 89 - Cell 2
91Joseph Areruya (Rwa) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 90 - Cell 2
92Leon Heinschke (Ger) Team Sunweb DevelopmentRow 91 - Cell 2
93Alex Frame (NZl) Trek-SegafredoRow 92 - Cell 2
DNFTorkil Veyhe (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling TeamRow 93 - Cell 2
DNFDeins Kanepejs (Lat) Amore & Vita-ProdirRow 94 - Cell 2
DNFNiklas Markl (Ger) Team Sunweb DevelopmentRow 95 - Cell 2
DNSJesus Ezquerra Muela (Spa) Burgos-BHRow 96 - Cell 2


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