April 14, 2021
De Brabantse Pijl 2021 – Leuven – Overijse : 201,7 km
The Spring Classics season will resume this Wednesday with the 61st edition of Brabantse Pijl –
April 14, 2021
De Brabantse Pijl 2021 – Leuven – Overijse : 201,7 km
The Spring Classics season will resume this Wednesday with the 61st edition of Brabantse Pijl – a hilly semi-Classic that fills the void between the cobbled Classics and the Ardennes Classics. With no less than 27 climbs on its route and a startlist that contains the likes of Wout van Aert, Greg Van Avermaet and Jasper Stuyven, this year’s edition is shaping up to be one of the best races of the season so far. This year’s race will fall in its more traditional mid-April slot, marking the transition from the cobbled Classics to the Ardennes Classics. Fitting for a transitional semi-Classic, this race blends the parcours seen in both Flanders and Wallonia, smashing hills and cobblestones together to create a Frankenstein-like route that suits both the rouleurs and the puncheurs.
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.
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.
1 Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 4:36:27
2 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
3 Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:02
4 Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:07
5 Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
6 Robert Stannard (Aus) Team BikeExchange
7 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious
8 Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
9 Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
10 Andreas Leknessund (Nor) Team DSM 0:00:12
11 Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:25
12 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team 0:00:48
13 Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
14 Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
15 Milan Menten (Bel) Bingoal WB
16 Sylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal
17 Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:00:51
18 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis 0:00:53
19 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
20 Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
21 Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
22 Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
23 Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
24 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix
25 Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal
26 Simon Carr (GBr) EF Education-Nippo
27 Sander Armée (Bel) Team Qhubeka Assos
28 Markus Hoelgaard (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
29 Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
30 Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
31 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
32 Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Total Direct Energie
33 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team BikeExchange
34 Luc Wirtgen (Lux) Bingoal WB
35 Rob Power (Aus) Team Qhubeka Assos
36 Floris De Tier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
37 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
38 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
39 Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-up Nation
40 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
41 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM 0:01:10
42 Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:17
43 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:01:20
44 Frederik Wandahl (Den) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:22
45 Stokbro Andreas Nielsen (Den) Team Qhubeka Assos
46 Valentin Ferron (Fra) Total Direct Energie
47 Jelle Wallays (Bel) Cofidis
48 Kevin Vermaerke (USA) Team DSM
49 Henri Vandenabeele (Bel) Team DSM
50 Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team Emirates
51 Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Israel Start-up Nation
52 Ryan Gibbons (RSA) UAE Team Emirates
53 Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
54 Connor Brown (NZl) Team Qhubeka Assos
55 Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
56 Jonas Iversby Hvideberg (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
57 Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
58 Paul Martens (Ger) Jumbo-Visma 0:01:25
59 Bob Jungels (Lux) AG2R Citroën Team
60 Kobe Goossens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
61 Ben Tulett (GBr) Alpecin-Fenix
62 Aimé De Gendt (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:01:28
63 Arjen Livyns (Bel) Bingoal WB 0:01:31
64 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
65 Stephen Williams (GBr) Bahrain Victorious 0:01:43
66 Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM 0:02:04
67 Alex Howes (USA) EF Education-Nippo 0:02:18
68 Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:02:19
69 Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
70 Anders Skaarseth (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
71 Jonas Abrahamsen (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team 0:02:27
72 Syver Wærsted (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
73 Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:03:11
74 Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Start-up Nation 0:06:34
75 Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
76 Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
77 Luke Rowe (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
78 Alexis Renard (Fra) Israel Start-up Nation
79 Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
80 Aaron Verwilst (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
81 Marijn van den Berg (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
82 Eddie Dunbar (Irl) Ineos Grenadiers
83 Fabian Lienhard (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
84 Sébastien Grignard (Bel) Lotto Soudal
85 Eddy Fine (Fra) Cofidis
86 Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
87 Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education-Nippo
88 Ludovic Robeet (Bel) Bingoal WB 0:06:38
89 Jordi Meeus (Bel) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:06:42
90 Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal
91 Rune Herregodts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise 0:07:00
92 Patrick Gamper (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
93 Alexander Konychev (Ita) Team BikeExchange
94 Kenny Molly (Bel) Bingoal WB
95 Timo Roosen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
96 Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
97 Antonio Tiberi (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:07:13
98 Leonardo Basso (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers 0:08:53
99 Michal Golas (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers
100 Edo Goldstein (Isr) Israel Start-Up Nation
101 Barnabás Peák (Hun) Team BikeExchange
102 Tom Wirtgen (Lux) Bingoal WB
103 Ian Garrison (USA) Deceuninck-QuickStep
104 Emmanuel Morin (Fra) Cofidis
105 Martin Bugge Urianstad (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
106 Kristian Kulset (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
107 Marlon Gaillard (Fra) Total Direct Energie
108 Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) EF Education-Nippo
109 Julian Mertens (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
110 Jack Bauer (NZl) Team BikeExchange 0:09:12
111 Alex Edmondson (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:09:16
112 Felix Gall (Aut) Team DSM
DSQ Gijs Leemreize (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
DNF Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
DNF Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep
DNF Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep
DNF Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNF Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNF Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal
DNF Damien Touze (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
DNF Stan Dewulf (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team
DNF Eros Capecchi (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
DNF Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain Victorious
DNF Nils Politt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Martin Laas (Est) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Thomas Champion (Fra) Cofidis
DNF Nathan Haas (Aus) Cofidis
DNF Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis
DNF Hideto Nakane (Jpn) EF Education-Nippo
DNF Logan Owen (USA) EF Education-Nippo
DNF Julius van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-Nippo
DNF Kévin Geniets (Lux) Groupama-FDJ
DNF William Bonnet (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNF Cameron Wurf (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers
DNF Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Israel Start-up Nation
DNF Norman Vahtra (Est) Israel Start-up Nation
DNF Finn Fisher-Black (NZl) Jumbo-Visma
DNF Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange
DNF Marco Brenner (Ger) Team DSM
DNF Martin Salmon (Ger) Team DSM
DNF Leon Heinschke (Ger) Team DSM
DNF Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Qhubeka Assos
DNF Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team Qhubeka Assos
DNF Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
DNF Michel Ries (Lux) Trek-Segafredo
DNF Oliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
DNF Petr Vakoc (Cze) Alpecin-Fenix
DNF Boris Vallee (Bel) Bingoal WB
DNF Aaron Van Poucke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNF Ward Vanhoof (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNF Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
DNF Frederik Backaert (Bel) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
DNF Bert De Backer (Bel) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
DNF Julien Morice (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
DNF Alexandre Geniez (Fra) Total Direct Energie
DNF Florian Maitre (Fra) Total Direct Energie
DNF Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) Total Direct Energie
DNF Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie