Tim Wellens wins Brabantse Pijl as riders honor Michael Goolaerts
Lotto Soudal's Tim Wellens took victory and dedicated the win to Michael Goolaerts
The classic race De Brabantse Pijl in Belgium started with a minute’s silence in tribute to Belgian rider Michael Goolaerts, who lost his life after suffering a cardiac arrest during Paris-Roubaix on Sunday. Goolaerts’ Veranda’s Willems-Crelan decided to take part in the 202km cobbled classic in memory of the 23-year-old, as riders wore black armbands as a sign of respect.
Wellens launched a late attack, pointing to the sky to dedicate the victory to Goolaerts.
Italian Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) sprinted to second place ahead of Wellens’ Lotto-Soudal team-mate Tiesj Benoot in third.
An seven-rider breakawy got a maximum lead seven minutes, before the gap was whittled down by Lotto Soudal prior to the first of three finishing circuits.
As the peloton reeled in the breakaway, Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto-Soudal) and Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) attacked and past the breakaway and built up a gap of 40 seconds with 40km to go.
The punishing cobbled climbs of the finishing circuit, Van der Sande and Haig ultimately could not fend off the peloton who caught the duo with 10km to go.
Wellens attacked with around 6km to go, put his head down and built up a gap of 25 seconds, managing to keep cleaer all the way to the line.
The next Spring Classic is the Amstel Gold Race in the Netherlands on Sunday, April 15.
VIDEO: 2018 De Brabantse Pijl Highlights
2018 De Brabantse Pijl Top 10
1 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 4:42:48
2 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:09
3 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
4 Pieter Serry (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
5 Jan Tratnik (Slo) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
6 Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
7 Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team
8 Huub Duijn (Ned) Veranda's Willems Crelan 0:00:12
9 Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise 0:00:14
10 Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott