After a late move Dimitri Claeys (Wanty – Groupe Gobert) won 1.1 Belgian race Grote Prijs Jef Scherens – Rondom Leuven. It was a hard day for “riders in orange” who finished outside top 30.
The race, which was included – alongside 9 other Belgian events – in the Napoleon Games Cup series was carried out on a 14-kilometer lap. It was tackled as many as thirteen times (185km in total). There were four shorter climbs on the circuit and the top of the last one was located just 2 kilometers from the finish in Leuven. Rain which was falling for most of the competition didn’t make things easy for the riders.
Sjoerd Kouwenhoven (Metec – TKH Continental Cyclingteam p/b Mantel), Berden De Vries (Roompot – Oranje Peloton), Gerry Druyts (Crelan – Vastgoedservice), Daan Hoeyberghs (Beobank – Corendon), Justin Mottier (Fortuneo – Vital Concept) and Nicolas Vereecken (An Post – Chain Reaction) were all part of the breakaway of the day. They established the maximum lead of over 4 minutes.
The peloton started the chase early though and with 40 kilometers to go the escapees were back in the field. After a series of attacks two new leaders emerged in the front – Dimitri Claeys (Wanty – Groupe Gobert) and Pim Ligthart (Lotto Soudal). They were chased by many counter attackers and the bunch, but eventually they managed to hold on to their lead and arrived at the line before everyone else.
In the race’s finale Claeys pulled away solo and took the win. Ligthart came in 4 seconds behind and the peloton was 8 seconds back. Roman Maikin (Gazprom-RusVelo) was the fastest from the pack, claiming 3rd.
Leszek Pluciński was the only CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider who finished in the bunch, in 38th place.