Brussels Cycling Classic: Greipel wins bunch kick

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Andr̩ Greipel (Lotto Belisol) wins the first edition of the Brussels Cycling Classic which replaces Paris РBrussells.

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The event saw a breakaway of six when two groups of three came together and together they opened up a gap of five minutes. While Jonathan Castroviejo, Björn Thurau and Julien Vermote, Koen Barbé, Florent Barle and Laurens De Vreese led, Lotto Belisol took control to make sure the race was theres for the taking at the end.

It wasn’t however a walkover as the battle began in earnest as the race approached the finish with many riders jumping away. None of the attacks though stuck and on the second ascent of the Smeysberg, the front group fell apart. Barbé and Barle were dropped for good and behind, the peloton split in two for a while.

Seven kilometers from the end, the escapees were caught and former Tour of Britain winner Lars Boom attacked but in the final kilometre he was caught and German national champion, André Greipel, sprinted to the victory ahead of noted sprinters John Degenkolb and Nacer Bouhanni.

André Greipel: “We started with the idea to try to win this race, everybody was very motivated. The whole team really deserved the victory today, because we took the responsibility. The guys really did a great job to keep the break close enough, between a 1′ and 1’30” gap. Everybody of us was committed to prepare for a bunch sprint. This was good teamwork. It turned out well and I’m really happy. Every victory is special, but certainly here in Brussels as we are a Belgian team. The sponsors and riders are happy with the victory.”

“At the end Lars Boom jumped away, he is one of the guys who always tries a stunt like this. We had to gamble for the bunch sprint and hope he couldn’t hold the gap. In the last corner, I was a bit far back, but Marcel Sieberg brought me in about tenth position. Then I had to go really early for the sprint, I already started with 350 meters to go. I think that’s why I could surprise everyone. When the last lead-out guy for Bouhanni finished his job I had to move to the left, but luckily I could pass. Without that I think I would have even gotten a bigger gap.”

1 GREIPEL Andre Lotto Belisol Team 04:55:58
2 DEGENKOLB John Team Argos – Shimano @ st
3 BOUHANNI Nacer Equipe Cycliste @ st
4 KRISTOFF Alexander Katusha Team @ st
5 CIMOLAI Davide Lampre – Merida @ st
6 CIOLEK Gerald Team MTN Qhubeka @ st
7 VAN POPPEL Danny Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
8 MAES Nikolas Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
9 REZA Kevin Team Europcar @ st
10 DUMOULIN Samuel AG2R La Mondiale @ st
11 VANTOMME Maxime Crelan-Euphony @ st
12 VANMARCKE Sep Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
13 VENTOSO ALBERDI Francisco José Movistar Team @ st
14 DRUCKER Jean-Pierre – Wanty @ st
15 HUTAROVICH Yauheni AG2R La Mondiale @ st
16 LEQUATRE Geoffroy Bretagne- Séché Environnement @ st
17 VIVIANI Elia Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
18 PORSEV Alexander Katusha Team @ st
19 BRESCHEL Matti Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
20 DION Renaud Bretagne- Séché Environnement @ st

82 CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ 45
91 PETACCHI Alessandro Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ 45
122 KEISSE Iljo Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ 1.29
165 BRAMMEIER Matthew Champion System Pro Cycling Team 15:44
DNF DOWSETT Alex Movistar Team –


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