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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.


#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus4:21:39
2Marc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:00:03
3Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
4Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
5Emiel Vermeulen (Bel) Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole
6Justin Jules (Fra) Wallonie Bruxelles
7Pierre Barbier (Fra) Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole
8Bram Welten (Ned) Arkea Samsic
9Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
10Romain Cardis (Fra) Direct Energie
11Milan Menten (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
12Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel
13Mattia Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
14Marco Mathis (Ger) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
15Andreas Stokbo Nielsen (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling Team
16Damien Touze (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
17Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Cycling Academy
18Daniel Lopez Parada (Spa) Burgos-BH
19Jelle Mannaerts (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex
20Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
21Kevin Le Cunff (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93
22Julien Trarieux (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
23Josip Rumac (Cro) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
24Boy van Poppel (Ned) Roompot-Charles
25Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Israel Cycling Academy
26Thomas Joseph (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex
27Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel
28Samuel Leroux (Fra) Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole
29Aime De Gendt (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
30Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Arkea Samsic
31Bert De Backer (Bel) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel
32Tony Hurel (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93
33Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
34Pierre Idjouadiene (Fra) Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole
35AurŽlien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
36Aksel Nommela (Est) Wallonie Bruxelles0:00:08
37Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz (Pol) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
38Krister Hagen (Nor) Riwal Readynez Cycling Team
39Tom Dernies (Bel) Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole
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-Circus
45Stijn Devolder (Bel) Corendon-Circus0:00:26
46Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles0:00:30
47Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
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 Academy
52Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Direct Energie0:02:42
53Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) Direct Energie
54Lionel Taminiaux (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles0:02:43
55Jan-Andre Freuler (Swi) Amore & Vita-Prodir0:02:53
56Laurent Pichon (Fra) Arkea Samsic
57Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
58Lindsay De Vylder (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
59Loic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
60Mickael Delage (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
61Bagdonas Gediminas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale
62Yoann Paillot (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93
63Piet Allegaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
64Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Corendon-Circus0:02:56
65Jimmy Janssens (Bel) Corendon-Circus
66Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie
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-Circus
73Marco Benfatto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
74Jeremy Leveau (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
75Lukas Spengler (Swi) Wallonie Bruxelles
76Stijn Steels (Bel) Roompot-Charles0:09:17
77Tobias Morch Kongstad (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling Team
78Thibault Guernalec (Fra) Arkea Samsic
79Julien Morice (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel0:09:49
80Corentin Ermenault (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel
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 Academy
87Alvaro Robredo Crespo (Spa) Burgos-BH
88Nils Sinschek (Ned) Team Sunweb Development
89Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
90Manuel Penalver Aniorte (Spa) Burgos-BH
91Joseph Areruya (Rwa) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
92Leon Heinschke (Ger) Team Sunweb Development
93Alex Frame (NZl) Trek-Segafredo
DNFTorkil Veyhe (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling Team
DNFDeins Kanepejs (Lat) Amore & Vita-Prodir
DNFNiklas Markl (Ger) Team Sunweb Development
DNSJesus Ezquerra Muela (Spa) Burgos-BH


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