After very intense and nail-biting race, Sonny Colbrelli claimed the win in De Brabantse Pijl. CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders finished outside the top 20.
Info: April 12th, Leuven – Overijse, 197km
Course: undulating, 26 punchy hills, some of them covered with cobbled, uphill finale
The Belgian race was the final test ahead of Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race. It began with 5 riders breaking clear – Adam Blythe (Aqua Blue Sport), Zakkari Dempster (Israel Cycling Academy), Christophe Masson (WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect), Lorenzo Rota (Bardiani – CSF), Jacques Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data).
They established almost 7-minute lead, but the bunch picked up the pace early and cut the gap to just 50s with 70km to go.
The break got caught with around 55km remaining (Dempster was reeled back in sooner) and that sparked new attacks on the climb. Group of 13 riders emerged in the front, but it didn’t include CCC Sprandi Polkowice representatives.
The new leading group maintained around 20-30 gap throughout the final 30km of racing. Eventually 7 of the escapees managed to survive until the very end. On the last berg of the day they were joined by 2016 winner Petr Vakoc (Quick Step Floors) and Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal). Despite fresher legs they were beaten by Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) in an uphill sprint. Vakoc finished 2nd and Tiesji Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) was 3rd.
It was not the day of CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders. The top finisher, Jan Tratnik checked in in 35th.