Close second place at the Brussels Cycling Classic for last year’s winner Pascal Ackermann
The 99th edition of the Brussels Cycling Classic led the riders over 189 km around the Belgian capital. After taking off from Jubelpark, the peloton headed south, crossing 12 short and not particularly challenging hellingen on the way, before travelling north towards the finish line located in the King Baudouin Stadium. With the last ascent coming already 40 km ahead of the finish, the parcours was widely deemed to be favourable for the sprinters and one which would in all likelihood, as in previous years, culminate in a bunch sprint. The race was opened by a series of attacks, as various riders attempted to make the cut into the break of the day. Eventually, seven riders were able to go clear of the peloton and ride out a maximum advantage of 3 minutes. However, as the second half of the race approached, the BORA - hansgrohe riders made their way towards the front end of the field and the deficit to the leaders gradually began to reduce. With 65 km of road left, a small chase group set out in pursuit of the leaders, and was able to bridge the gap to the leaders. BORA - hansgrohe, with the defending champion Pascal Ackermann among its ranks, rode in full force at the front of the main field, as the team from Raubling increasingly took over the pace setting duties in the peloton. The rain began to bucket down on the riders as they hit the final 20 km to go, and under the increased pace that was being meted out by the BORA - hansgrohe squad, the field became strung out and eventually split. 10 km later, the break was eventually reeled in, and the other sprinters’ teams also came to the fore. BORA – hansgrohe’s sprint train then attempted to manoeuvre Pascal into position, and although the German sprinter was ahead in the approach to the finish line, C. Ewan was able to pull past him at the last minute to take a close win ahead of our fast man, who finished in second place.
01 C. Ewan 4:25:35
02 P. Ackermann +0:00
03 J. Philipsen +0:00
04 D. Ballerini +0:00
From the finish line
“With 191km, the Brussels Cycling Classic was quite a long race. The parcours was also undulating, on narrow roads. We tried to control the race, and the team did that well. The guys rode consistently at the front, but the inclement rainy conditions made the race somewhat more difficult. Our sprint train organised itself according to plan, and the whole team worked together well, with everyone giving 100 percent to bring Pascal into a good position. However, in the end, he launched his sprint slightly too early and so just missed out on the victory. One can’t do much about these things, that’s how cycling goes sometimes. Despite that, I can say that the entire team rode a strong race today.” – André Schulze, Sports Director