Jan Tratnik again showcased great form early in the spring, taking 5th place in 1.HC race, De Brabantse Pijl – La Flèche Brabanconne.
Info: April 11th, Leuven – Overijse, 201,9km
Course: undulating, 27 short and punchy climbs
The 7-man breakaway went clear soon after the gun and opened up an 8-minute lead. Calvin Watson, Tyler Williams, Michael Grosu, Elmar Reinders, Dries De Bondt, Antoine Warnier and Andrea Peron were part of that move while CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders were riding safely in the bunch.
World Tour teams decided to gradually increase the pace with around 110km to go, when the gap reached its peak.
The race got heated up with 70km to, when attacks from the pack started. The peloton would split and come back together few times and after one of the attempts, two riders – Tosh Van der Sande and Jack Haig – were able to bridge to the escape and later leave the rest of escapees behind.
The duo got reeled back in with 12km to go and that sparked new attacks. The bunch was bringing everyone back in, except for Tim Wellens, who soloed to victory.
Jan Tratnik put up a great fight in the finale taking 5th place in an uphill, punchy finish. Sonny Colbrelli won that sprint for 2nd place, ahead of Tiesj Benoot.
In the beginning of the race, when the pace was not so strong, I didn’t feel that great. I didn’t really know exactly what was going on. But when we got to the finishing laps for the first time and tempo got higher, my legs opened up and I started to feel better and better. We kept strong pace in the bunch on the circuit and there were multiple attacks firing from the pack, but I was able to respond and stay in that first group. In the end I was very tired, but I still had some extra power for final sprint. I’m very happy with my 5th place and I would like to thank the team for all the support – Jan Tratnik said afterwards.