photo credit @ BELGA
Ben Hermans (BMC) claimed this year’s Brabantse Pijl, after holding off his rivals following a well executed late attack.
The Belgian rider made his winning move during the final 4 kilometers of today’ race, subsequently dispatching fellow breakaway companion, David Tanner (IAM Cycling).
“I was very scared,” Hermans said. “You don’t have too many possibilities to win the race in this way, especially if you are not explosive and don’t have the sprint like Philippe [Gilbert]. I was in a good position there, and I had to push all the watts I had. Luckily it was enough.”
A small breakaway group containing Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Anthony Delaplace (Bretagne-Séché Environnement), and Alex Kirsch (Cult Energy), got underway early on in today’s race.
Kirsch was the first escapee to be caught by the peloton, as the race entered into the final 60 kilometers.
From there, the duo pressed on. However, with 46 kilometers remaining, their advantage over the crash had bee reduced to less than a minute. And, within a matter of a few kilometers, both riders were caught.
With 35 kilometers to go, another breakaway group emerged, this time containing Hermans, Tanner, Louis Vervaeke (Lotto-Soudal), Bartlomiej Matysiak (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), and Tim De Troyer (Wanty-Groupe Gobert).
From there, Hermans and Tanner succeeded in jettisoning their breakaway companions, and set off alone during the final 30 kilometers.
As the race headed into the final 25 kilometers, Bjorn Leukemans (Wanty-Groupe-Gobert) decided to attack from within the peloton.
However, his moved was quickly marked by Paul Voss’ (Bora-Argon18), who managed to bridge himself to the Belgian rider – bringing Silvan Dillier (BMC), Julien Vermote (Etixx-Quick-Step), and Victor Campenaerts (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), along with him.
With 20 kilometers to go, Dries Devenyns (IAM Cycling) shot-out from within the peloton to joined the quintet of chasers.
Heading into the final 10 kilometers, the chase group continued to swell, as other riders managed to bridge themselves across to Leukemans et al.
At that point, Hermans and Tanner’s gap had fallen to a mere 19 seconds. But, a lack of cooperation amongst the pursuit, caused the chasers to be reabsorbed by the peloton.
With five kilometers remaining, the duo’s gap had stretched back out to 30 seconds.
With the peloton fast on their heels, Hermans was prompted to attack.
This move left Tanner unable to respond, who was quickly caught by the impending chase.
As the race headed into the final kilometer, Hermans was still managing to hold off the field, despite a flurry of determined moves back in the chase – most notably Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge).
Hermans ultimately stormed across the finish with the slightest of gaps, to seize the victory by 2 seconds over Mathhews, followed by his BMC teammate, Philippe Gilbert.
De Brabantse Pijl 2015 Results
BEL 1 HERMANS, Ben (BMC RACING) 4:45:14
AUS 2 MATTHEWS, Michael (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 2
BEL 3 GILBERT, Philippe (BMC RACING)
FRA 4 GALLOPIN, Tony (LOTTO SOUDAL)
ITA 5 REBELLIN, Davide (CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE)
AUS 6 HAAS, Nathan (CANNONDALE – GARMIN)
ITA 7 FELLINE, Fabio (TREK FACTORY RACING)
NED 8 LAMMERTINK, Maurits (TEAM ROOMPOT)
POL 9 PATERSKI, Maciej (CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE)
BEL 10 DEVENYNS, Dries (IAM CYCLING)
GER 11 MARTENS, Paul (LOTTO NL – JUMBO)
JPN 12 ARASHIRO, Yukiya (EUROPCAR)
FRA 13 MOLARD, Rudy (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS)
DEN 14 GULDHAMMER, Rasmus (CULT ENERGY PRO CYCLING)
NED 15 KREDER, Michel (TEAM ROOMPOT)
ESP 16 MEGIAS LEAL, Javier (NOVO NORDISK) + 14
ITA 17 MARCATO, Marco (WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT) + 16
ITA 18 SBARAGLI, Kristian (MTN – QHUBEKA) + 19
FRA 19 ALAPHILIPPE, Julian (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
FRA 20 BARDET, Romain (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
BEL 21 DE TIER, Floris (TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE) + 24
ESP 22 MATE MARDONES, Luis Angel (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS)
FRA 23 CHAVANEL, Sylvain (IAM CYCLING)
SUI 24 DILLIER, Silvan (BMC RACING) + 28
BEL 25 CAMPENAERTS, Victor (TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE) + 32
BEL 26 MEERSMAN, Gianni (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
NED 27 DUIJN, Huub (TEAM ROOMPOT) + 38
ITA 28 CANOLA, Marco (UNITEDHEALTHCARE) + 42
GER 29 VOSS, Paul (BORA-ARGON 18) + 47
AUS 30 TANNER, David (IAM CYCLING)
AUT 31 KONRAD, Patrick (BORA-ARGON 18) + 52
BEL 32 PAUWELS, Serge (MTN – QHUBEKA) + 53
BEL 33 ARMEE, Sander (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 1:02
BEL 34 JACOBS, Pieter (TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE)
FRA 35 ROSSETTO, Stéphane (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS)
ITA 36 SELVAGGI, Mirko (WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT)
ITA 37 CARUSO, Damiano (BMC RACING)
ESP 38 REYNES MIMO, Vicente (IAM CYCLING) + 1:05
FRA 39 FONSECA, Armindo (BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT)
BEL 40 TEUNS, Dylan (BMC RACING) + 1:09
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