André Greipel wins inaugural Brussel Cycling Classic
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Saturday, September 07, 2013

André Greipel wins inaugural Brussel Cycling Classic

by Ben Atkins at 1:49 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
German takes the bunch sprint in Paris-Bruxelles replacement race

andre greipel

André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) won the inaugural edition of the Brussel Cycling Classic, the race introduced to replace the Paris-Bruxelles, in a bunch sprint on the Keizerin Charlottelaan in the north of the Belgian capital. The big German “Gorilla” beat compatriot John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) into second place - taking revenge on the 24-year-old for his Vattefall Cyclassics defeat - with former French champion Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr) finishing third after a day of attacks.

“We started with the idea to try to win this race, everybody was very motivated,” said Greipel afterwards. “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 one minute and a 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 [Belkin] jumped away, he is one of the guys who always tries a stunt like this,” Greipel explained. “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.”

The first part of the race saw a three-man breakaway from Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar), Julien Vermote (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Bjorn Thurau (Europcar), which was swelled to six as they were joined by Koen Barbe (Crelan-Euphony), Florent Barle (Cofidis) and Laurens De Vreese (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise).

The group was able to get more than three minutes clear, but was eventually reeled in with around seven kilometres to go. There then followed a counterattack from Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM), Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and Lars Boom (Belkin) with just under four kilometres to go. Boom tried to go solo in the final kilometre, but was closed down with 300 metres to go as the sprinters were just winding up for the line.

Result Brussel Cycling Classic
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol
2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano
3. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ.fr
4. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha Team
5. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida
6. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka
7. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
8. Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
9. Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar
10. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale

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