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Arnaud De Lie wins Heistse Pijl

Arnaud de Lie (Lotto Soudal)
Arnaud de Lie (Lotto Soudal) (Image credit: SprintCyclingAgency)

20-year-old Arnaud De Lie claimed his fifth win of his neo-pro season, taking out the bunch sprint in the Heistse Pijl ahead of more established sprinters Giacomo Nizzolo (Israel-Premier Tech) and Mark Cavendish (Quickstep-AlphaVinyl).

The Lotto Soudal rider timed his effort perfectly, sitting back as Nizzolo opened up the sprint then launching to victory.

"The field of participants was incredible today," De Lie said of the 1.1-ranked event. "Cavendish and Nizzolo are two riders who have already earned their stripes in the Grand Tours. That's why this win really is a new step in my career for me. That Cavendish didn't know my name? Now (laughs). It is very nice when the best sprinter of the last fifteen years gets to know you - [I have] so much respect for them both.”

Cavendish, caught behind a split in the final series of turns, had to make up ground but was too late and had to settle for third.

"It's a little disappointing after the guys worked so hard all day," Cavendish said. “You saw on the last lap that we were where we wanted to be before the cobblestone climb. My chain came off on the descent. It wasn't the first time this year that it happened. I lost positions trying to get it back on."

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