On Wednesday De Brabantse Pijl will be the closing event of the Flanders Classics spring races. According to the provisional start list, we are looking forward to Cosnefroy, Stuyven, Matthews and Van Aert. The latter will be at the start for the first time in the race that is the transition between cobbled and climb races and this year is a dress rehearsal for the World Championships in September. Download the provisional start list here.
At the start in Leuven, many eyes will be focused on Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma). The Belgian will ride De Brabantse Pijl for the first time. Just like in the other spring races he will get his first lieutenant Van Hooydonck along for the ride. Among the competitors, Van Aert will find Jasper Stuyven’s name. For Stuyven, De Brabantse Pijl, which starts in Leuven, is a home run. He will have the company of Edward Theuns as earlier this year.
The competition will also be coming from Deceuninck - Quick-Step who will field Cattaneo, Honoré, Cavagna and Lampaert. In addition, in the challenging Druivenstreek Van Avermaet-Jungels-Cosnefroy of AG2R Citroën Team are a trio to keep an eye out for. The Frenchman Cosnefroy knows what he’s doing there, as he was on the podium in Overijse in October. Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux can also count on a strong trio with Bakelants, A. De Gendt and Vliegen.
At Bahrain-Victorious, we find a former winner with Colbrelli on the provisional start list. The Italian, who was the best in 2017, will team up with Mohoric and Teuns. Another ex-winner is in the Alpecin-Fenix line-up. Vakoc won De Brabantse Pijl in 2016 and takes the lead in the team this year with De Tier and Meurisse by his side.
Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange), who has already come close to winning two races in the past, will undoubtedly be a key player too. Israel Start-Up Nation can count on Vanmarcke. Carapaz and Pidcock (INEOS-Grenadiers) are also a duo to look out for. Just like the Frenchman Laporte (Cofidis) who has been in the spotlight all spring already. And what about Trentin, the Italian leader at UAE Team Emirates. Victor Campenaerts will also be the leader on duty for Team Qhubeka ASSOS.
Keep in mind the list remains subject to the COVID-19 measures.
The 61st edition of De Brabantse Pijl promises to be an extra exciting race. Both fans and riders are getting ready for a dress rehearsal for the 2021 UCI Road World Championships that will take place in Flanders this year. The road races will finish in Leuven and have a finale on the Flandrien loop that includes Smeysberg, Moskesstraat and the S-curve in Overijse, just like in De Brabantse Pijl.
We will find out who will succeed world champion Alaphilippe on Wednesday 14 April.