No cheerful atmosphere at the start of the 58th Brabantse Pijl in Leuven, but a modest tribute to the Sunday deceased Michael Goolaerts of Veranda's Willems-Crelan. The entire team (also the riders who were not on the starting page) was present on the podium at the Grand Place and received several times a heartwarming applause from the many fans. Veranda's Willems-Crelan took place in the first row under the start arch, where their riders let their emotions run free with the minute of silence that was held just before the start.
Only seven WorldTour teams came to the start of this Brabantse Pijl, but that ensured that all participating ProContinental teams wanted to prove themselves. It was no coincidence that it was someone from Veranda's Willems who attacked first: Dries De Bondt wanted to honor Goolaerts in an appropriate way and attacked. He immediately received six companions: Antoine Warnier (WB Veranclassic), Elmar Reinders (Roompot), Calvin Watson (Aqua Blue Sport), Edward Grosu (Nippo Vini Fantini), Andrea Peron (Novo Nordisk) and Tyler Williams (Israel Cycling Academy).
Tim Wellens takes the benefits of perfect teamwork
The seven got a maximum lead of 7'50" on the peloton, but that gap quickly diminished because of the hard work of BMC and LottoNL-Jumbo. The only one remaining, Dries De Bondt, got the company of Jack Haig and Tosh Van der Sande at the start of the three local laps, but he was soon left behind. The Mitchelton-Scott / Lotto-Soudal duo stayed ahead for a long time, but due to the hard work of Bahrain-Merida in the peloton, they only got a maximum lead of forty seconds.
Immediately afterwards, there were a lot of attacks. It was Lotto-Soudal who played the team game perfectly in the final lap. Haig and Van der Sande were caught, but immedialely afterwards it was the turn of Maxime Monfort and Jelle Vanendert to thin out the peloton. Tim Wellens was the one who benefited from the work of his teammates and jumped away just before the last time IJskelderlaan.
Teuns, Serry and Gasparotto tried to counter, but came too late. It was Tim Wellens who, with a finger to the sky, finished solo in Overijse. Sonny Colbrelli, the winner of last year, sprinted to a second place, Tiesj Benoot completed the Lotto-Soudal party with a third place.