Report: De Brabantse Pijl (Men)

Tom Pidcock wins his first professional road victory in emphatic fashion at De Brabantse Pijl outsprinting Wout van Aert and Matteo Trentin.

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Report: De Brabantse Pijl (Men)

Tom Pidcock wins his first professional road victory in emphatic fashion at De Brabantse Pijl outsprinting Wout van Aert and Matteo Trentin. The young Brit showed calm and race-craft beyond his years in a thrilling finale in Overijse, timing his sprint to perfection on the uphill ramp to the line and overhauling rival Wout Van Aert.

Tom had twice enlivened the final with a pair of identical attacks on the Hertstraat. His first move helped force a selection on the finishing circuit, before the second helped set up a three-up final shootout. The win is a continuation of Pidcock’s superb step up to the professional ranks – following a podium at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne and a fifth place at Strade Bianche.

Earlier the team had worked hard to peg the gap to the day’s breakaway. Cameron Wurf got through a lot of kilometres on the front, before the team moved up as a unit with 40km to go. Richard Carapaz was the next Ineos rider home in 31st after doing some good work following counter-attacks behind.

Tom Pidcock (1st): “I know that sprints at the end of a race like that are not the same as if you are sprinting for a town sign, so you always go into those sprints with confidence. Wout was pulling super hard every time we got away, I was coming through on the front and I was doing the same watts to get on his wheel. He was pulling super hard, but maybe too hard in the end.”

“I was getting nervous, they were coming from behind, but I waited and waited, Wout went and kind of got a little bit boxed in, then I rushed Wout and came past him.”

“We were a little bit on the back foot with the group away and we were running out of guys, so we said to Jumbo ‘we pull to the climb, then we go’, Trentin came as well and it worked out pretty good in the end. I knew I was going well going into this race as I finally had a good week’s training with no interruptions so I knew I was going to be good and it’s nice to actually be good in the race as well to the finish.”

Wout van Aert (2nd): “It was a difficult race to control”, Van Aert said. “Everyone was looking at us in the beginning. On the local lap we lost our grip as a team and we let other teams surprise us too much. Eventually I managed to escape with Tom and Matteo and that created a good situation arose. Tom was strong in the race, but I hoped to beat him in the sprint. I started early, but my legs filled up very quickly. Today the strongest rider won and that was Pidcock. It’s always frustrating when you just come up short at the end, but for the rest I rode in the best possible way today.”

Matteo Trentin (3rd): “I had a decent gap going across the finish on the last lap and my tempo was good but it was hard to hold off the whole group as they were collaborating. When I saw Van Aert and Pidcock coming across I decided to ease up a little bit and try and recover a bit because I thought this would be the winning move and in the end it was. I felt good today but the legs were a bit tired in the end and the strongest guy won. I look forward to coming back racing on these roads at the World Championships later in the year.”

Ide Schelling (4th) “It was a good race for us. On the first laps I tried to save my energy, but when the race became really serious, I knew I had to make a move, or else I would have lost my chance. I attacked on the climb and eventually managed to close the gap to the breakaway. It was not necessarily an easy thing to do, but Jordi did an excellent job here, so many thanks to him. When van Aert and Pidcock attacked, I was right behind them and wanted to follow, but in that moment, I just lacked the power, and had to take up the chase together with the rest of my group. Although we worked fairly well together, it was unfortunately not enough to catch up with the trio. Nevertheless, I was still determined to achieve a good result, so I gave everything to sprint for fourth place, and the fact that I managed to achieve that makes me quite happy.”

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