After his embarrassing mishap at Liege-Bastogne-Liege, new world champion Julian Alaphilippe redeemed himself by winning the Brabantse Pijl over 184km in Overijse today.
The Deceuninck–Quick-Step rider narrowly defeated defending champion Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin–Fenix) in the mid-week Flanders classic, which is one of the major tune-up races for the Tour of Flanders.
Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale), who made a name for himself by wearing the polka dot jersey for the majority of the Tour de France before losing it in the final few days, placed third in the three-man sprint.
Alaphilippe attacked on the second last climb around 11km from the finish to create the final split. Only Van der Poel could match his acceleration over the top, while Cosnefroy joined the two leaders shortly afterwards.
On the final climb that led to the finishing straight, it was Van der Poel who set the tempo with Cosnefroy and Alaphilippe in second and third wheel respectively – with the chasers around 20 seconds behind.
In the sprint, Alaphilippe kicked first while Van der Poel held back initially. Although the Dutchman quickly closed in on the Frenchman in the final metres, he failed by a whisker to get his wheel over the line first.
“I was disappointed after Sunday’s result at Liege, but I was feeling really good riding in the front,” said Alaphilippe, who lost the victory (before being relegated) due to a premature victory celebration.
“It gave me a lot of pleasure to win here today – I’m very happy.
“I knew Mathieu van der Poel would be dangerous at the finishing line. I did everything I could and am very happy.
Alaphilippe said it was a very nice feeling to win in the rainbow jersey.
“Even wearing it in the morning is something special. To take a victory is amazing.”
|1||Julian Alaphilippe||Deceuninck-Quick Step|
|2||Mathieu van der Poel||Alpecin-Fenix|
|3||Benoit Cosnefroy||AG2R La Mondiale|
|4||Sonny Colbrelli||Bahrain - McLaren|
|5||Warren Barguil||Team Arkéa Samsic|
|7||Andrea Bagiolo||Deceuninck-Quick Step|
|8||Anthony Turgis||Total Direct Énergie|
|9||Alessandro Covi||UAE Team Emirates|
|10||Dries Devenys||Deceuninck-Quick Step|