Meersman wins Handzame Classic, “riders in orange” far back

Belgian Handzame Classic ended with a bunch sprint and the victory of Gianni Meersman (Etixx – Quick Step). The riders of Polkowice-based team finished outside the Top 20.

Last races in the Benelux countries had one thing in common – strong pace in the first hour of racing. That was the case also in the Handzame Classic. It’s always difficult to establish any kind of breakaway when the speed is so high and this time the leading group was formed 50 kilometers into the race. It included Alex Kirsch (Cult Energy), Connor Dunne (An Post – Chain Reaction), Tom Wirtgen (Leopard Development Team ) and Dries Hollanders (Metec – TKH Continental ).

They were able to create 6:25 gap, which later leveled out at around 4 minutes. The head of the bunch was very orange, since the chase was controlled by CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders.

When the cooperation in the breakaway began to falter, Kirsch and Dunne attacked. Later on Cult Energy rider decided to go solo and was riding alone until 16km to go. This is when he was caught, by an active bunch.

In the final 10km the peloton was going very fast not allowing anyone to make a late move. The race was decided in a bunch sprint and Gianni Meersman (Etixx – Quick Step) was the fastest man on the line. He outsprinted Antoine Demoitie (Wallonie – Bruxelles) and Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal). None of the CCC Sprandi Polkowice took part in the sprinter’s game and Grzegorz Stępniak was the team’s top finisher – 48th place.

Results of Handzame Classic, Bredene – Handzame, 198.6km

1.Gianni Meersman (Etixx – Quick Step)

2.Antoine Demoitie (Wallonie – Bruxelles)

3.Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal)

49. Grzegorz Stępniak (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 0:13

112. Adrian Honkisz (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)

123. Josef Cerny (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 0:31

136. Mateusz Taciak (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 0:41

144. Nikolay Mihaylov (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)

146. Jan Hirt (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)

DNF Jarosław Marycz (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)

DNF Christian Delle Stelle (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)