Erik Baska pushes hard in a hectic bunch sprint and takes 12th place.
After many attacks in the first half of the Handzame Classic race, the BORA – hansgrohe squad took control over the peloton, set the pace and formed for Erik Baska for the final sprint. Due to a very frantic final and hard fights for the best positions he finished 12th position.
The Handzame Classic, which is part of the “Napoleon Games Cup”, took place today in the region West Flanders. 192,7 relatively flat kilometers from Bredere to Kortemark waited for the peloton.
From drop of the flag many riders tried to form a breakaway group. During the whole race, small groups pulled away, but no group was able to build an ample gap to the peloton.
At kilometer 80 a duo escaped finally from the main bunch. But the peloton didn´t accept that, it was Lukas Pöstlberger with three other riders who went up the road to catch the leaders. It took only some minutes and the breakaway duo was now a six-man break group with an advantage of one minute to the main pack.
The main bunch set up the pace and with only one lap to go it was all back together. The BORA – hansgrohe riders took control over the main bunch, ramping up the pace in preparation for the final sprint.
The team worked very well together and formed for Erik Baska, who won the race last year.
The final sprint was very hectic with lot of fights for the perfect position. The BORA – hansgrohe sprinters lost the contact to each other for some seconds and therefore the young Norway sprinter took the win. Erik Baska finished as best BORA – hansgrohe rider in 12th position.
Sports director André Schulze summarized the frantic final after the finish. “The boys did really an awesome job today. Rudi and Pascal were in the first breakaway group, Lukas also in a leading group. We dominated the whole race and took control over many kilometers. The finale was very hectic and the boys lost for some seconds the contact to each other, that can happen. Overall, they were very strong today.”