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2018 Brussels Cycling Classic (HC)

Formerly Paris-Brussels/Paris-Bruxelles

98th edition: Saturday, September 1, 2018

Brussels Cycling Classic podium history | 2017 edition

Brussels - Brussels, 201.0 km

PAscal Ackermann

The race is Pascal Ackermann's

The race: here's the report from winner Pascal Ackermann's Bora-hansgrohe team.

The 98th edition of the Brussels Cycling Classic was an occasion for the fast men, who finished the day with a hectic fight for the win on the line. As is typical for the Belgian classic races, the race was characterised by a number of hellingen, which, however, didn’t spoil the sprinters’ party. In the bunch sprint in Brussels, Pascal Ackermann took the win convincingly over the other fast men.

The Course
Today’s one-day race, one of the oldest classics, led the riders around Brussels on a 201km-long route. The parcours contained no less than 13 slight climbs, the last of which appeared 40km ahead of the finish line. The race began in Jubelpark in the Belgian capital city and meandered through slightly hilly terrain initially towards the south east, where the first of the 13 ascents waited for the peloton 14.3km after the start. The race proceeded further south from there towards Nivelles, where several small climbs had to be contended with in succession. Afterwards, the race headed back towards Brussels, but this time not to the centre, but rather the northern edge of the city, where the finish line awaited the riders near the King Baudouin Stadium. The last 35km were not particularly demanding in nature. Ahead of the flamme rouge, the riders had to negotiate a left-hand turn before heading straight towards the finish, which kicked up ever so slightly.

The Team Tactics
Although 13 ascents were on the menu today, they were not overly challenging, and like in the past years, it was to be expected that a mass sprint in Brussels would cap off the day this year as well. The teams with fast men would attempt to bring about a bunch sprint. Because the last small ascent came 40km before the finish, it would not be difficult for the peloton to reel in a breakaway in time. Pascal Ackermann, who has already notched up some impressive results this season, was among the favourites today. The team was to support the German champion and bring him safely to the finish while positioning him well for the final sprint. However, Pascal wasn’t to be without rivals on the course, and BORA – hansgrohe therefore had to prepare for a difficult finale.

The Race
The second ascent of the day saw several attacks, after which a group of 6 was able to establish itself at the head of the race. During the day, the advantage of the group hovered around 2:30 and the race situation remained largely unchanged. Entering into the last third of the course, under the tempo meted out by Groupama – FDJ, the gap slowly began to whittle down. On the penultimate climb, several riders broke free from the peloton and tried to bridge the gap to the leading group, but BORA – hansgrohe remained attentive and came to the front of the main field to pursue the attackers. With 15km remaining, several riders in the breakaway hit the deck, and everything came together a few kilometres later. Not long afterwards, the sprinters’ teams took a renewed interest in setting the tempo and the preparations for the final sprint began in earnest. BORA – hansgrohe was also in position at the front as the team attempted to navigate Pascal Ackermann into a good position for the final sprint. As expected, it came down to a bunch sprint between the fast men in Brussels. However, just before the finish line, many riders went down in a crash. In a hectic sprint, Pascal Ackermann was able to pull of a convincing victory, his first win on Belgian soil.

From the Finish Line
“The race was not easy today. We had to contend with 13 ascents and that made the race quite difficult. The team rode fantastically and worked for me the whole day. I am very happy about my win here in Brussels, because it is my first victory on Belgian soil. I hope that I am able to achieve more success here in the future.“ – Pascal Ackermann

“It all went according to plan today. We tried to control the race and although the breakaway was relatively strong today, we were able to reel them back in time. Peter [Kennaugh] and Juraj [Sagan] rode for a long time at the front in order to prevent any further attacks. Our goal was to bring Pascal into a good position for the final sprint, and the entire team worked well together to bring him safely to the finishing straight. He launched his sprint relatively early, but he had good legs and was able to win convincingly. I am very happy with the performance of the whole team.” – Christian Pömer, Sport Director

Complete results:

201.0 kilometers raced at an average speed of 43.82 km/hr

1 ACKERMANN Pascal Bora-hansgrohe 4hr 35min 12sec
2 STUYVEN Jasper Trek-Segafredo s.t.
3 BOUDAT Thomas Direct Energie @ 1sec
4 SÉNÉCHAL Florian Quick-Step Floors s.t.
5 LOBATO Juan José Nippo-Vini Fantini s.t.
6 MANZIN Lorrenzo Vital Concept s.t.
7 DEHAES Kenny WB-Aqua Protect-Veranclassic s.t.
8 VAN LERBERGHE Bert Cofidis s.t.
9 DUPONT Timothy Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
10 KOCH Jonas CCC Sprandi Polkowice s.t.
11 DECLERCQ Benjamin Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise s.t.
12 RUSSO Clément Fortuneo-Samsic s.t.
13 PLANCKAERT Edward Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise s.t.
14 KRISTOFF Alexander UAE-Team Emirates s.t.
15 ŠIŠKEVIČIUS Evaldas Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
16 WAEYTENS Zico Veranda's Willems-Crelan s.t.
17 LEVEAU Jérémy Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
18 MAES Nikolas Lotto-Soudal s.t.
19 DE WITTE Mathias Veranda's Willems-Crelan s.t.
20 MENTEN Milan Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise s.t.
21 ISTA Kevyn WB-Aqua Protect-Veranclassic s.t.
22 KREDER Wesley Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
23 VELASCO Simone Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia s.t.
24 KUREK Adrian CCC Sprandi Polkowice s.t.
25 DEGENKOLB John Trek-Segafredo s.t.
26 PERRY Ben Israel Cycling Academy 0:08
27 WOUTERS Enzo Lotto-Soudal s.t.
28 NIEUWENHUIS Joris Sunweb Development Team s.t.
29 VAN KEIRSBULCK Guillaume Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
30 DE GREEF Robbert Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij s.t.
31 VAN HECKE Preben Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise s.t.
32 DENZ Nico Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
33 OFFREDO Yoann Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
34 DE VREESE Laurens Astana s.t.
35 CORT Magnus Astana 0:11
36 MULLEN Ryan Trek-Segafredo 0:13
37 VANDENBERGH Stijn Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
38 VAN MELSEN Kevin Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
39 COSTA Rui UAE-Team Emirates s.t.
40 VANTOMME Maxime WB-Aqua Protect-Veranclassic s.t.
41 LAMPAERT Yves Quick-Step Floors 0:15
42 SIEBERG Marcel Lotto-Soudal s.t.
43 DEBUSSCHERE Jens Lotto-Soudal s.t.
44 PEYSKENS Dimitri WB-Aqua Protect-Veranclassic s.t.
45 SCHÖNBERGER Sebastian Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia 0:19
46 RAYMACKERS Cedric Cibel-Cebon s.t.
47 WILLIAMS Tyler Israel Cycling Academy 0:22
48 MARCHAND Gianni Cibel-Cebon 0:27
49 TURGIS Jimmy Cofidis s.t.
50 TEUGELS Lennert Cibel-Cebon s.t.
51 REZA Kévin Vital Concept s.t.
52 MASSON Christophe WB-Aqua Protect-Veranclassic s.t.
53 MÜLLER Patrick Vital Concept s.t.
54 HONORÉ Mikkel Frølich Quick-Step Floors s.t.
55 KENNAUGH Peter Bora-hansgrohe s.t.
56 KOZHATAYEV Bakhtiyar Astana s.t.
57 OWSIAN Lukasz CCC Sprandi Polkowice s.t.
58 SELIG Rüdiger Bora-hansgrohe s.t.
59 PALUTA Michał CCC Sprandi Polkowice s.t.
60 PEÁK Barnabás Quick-Step Floors s.t.
61 REINDERS Elmar Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij s.t.
62 SMUKULIS Gatis Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
63 SISR František CCC Sprandi Polkowice s.t.
64 DEVOLDER Stijn Veranda's Willems-Crelan s.t.
65 MERTZ Rémy Lotto-Soudal s.t.
66 BERNAS Paweł CCC Sprandi Polkowice s.t.
67 VAN STAEYEN Michael Cofidis s.t.
68 SAGAN Juraj Bora-hansgrohe s.t.
69 TIVANI German Nicolás UAE-Team Emirates s.t.
70 BAGDONAS Gediminas Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
71 GUARNIERI Jacopo Groupama-FDJ s.t.
72 NAESEN Oliver Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
73 BONIFAZIO Leonardo Nippo-Vini Fantini s.t.
74 JANSSENS Jimmy Cibel-Cebon s.t.
75 DÉMARE Arnaud Groupama-FDJ s.t.
76 GRUZDEV Dmitriy Astana s.t.
77 BONNET William Groupama-FDJ 0:36
78 LE GAC Olivier Groupama-FDJ s.t.
79 ENGER Sondre Holst Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
80 ERMENAULT Corentin Vital Concept s.t.
81 CLAEYS Dimitri Cofidis s.t.
82 DE GENDT Aimé Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise s.t.
83 PICHON Laurent Fortuneo-Samsic s.t.
84 VAN BREUSSEGEM Elias Veranda's Willems-Crelan s.t.
85 RIESEBEEK Oscar Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij 0:39
86 WIPPERT Wouter Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij s.t.
87 SCHILLINGER Andreas Bora-hansgrohe s.t.
88 VAN GOETHEM Brian Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij s.t.
89 SELLIER Simon Direct Energie 0:48
90 GÈNE Yohann Direct Energie s.t.
91 SINKELDAM Ramon Groupama-FDJ s.t.
92 PONZI Simone Nippo-Vini Fantini 0:57
93 SANTAROMITA Ivan Nippo-Vini Fantini s.t.
94 JAKOBSEN Fabio Quick-Step Floors 0:58
95 SPRENGERS Thomas Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise 1:01
96 BAUGNIES Jérôme Wanty-Groupe Gobert 1:18
97 KIRSCH Alex WB-Aqua Protect-Veranclassic s.t.
98 DILLIER Silvan Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
99 RAST Grégory Trek-Segafredo s.t.
100 BONO Matteo UAE-Team Emirates 1:24
101 MARTINELLI Davide Quick-Step Floors s.t.
102 FEILLU Brice Fortuneo-Samsic 1:30
103 BAK Lars Ytting Lotto-Soudal s.t.
104 DE BONDT Dries Veranda's Willems-Crelan 1:58
105 COENEN Dennis Cibel-Cebon 2:00
106 DIELEMAN Michiel Cibel-Cebon s.t.
107 MORIN Emmanuel Cofidis s.t.
108 MARCATO Marco UAE-Team Emirates 2:32
109 MÄRKL Niklas Sunweb Development Team 3:17
110 CARISEY Clément Israel Cycling Academy 3:20
111 CAVAGNA Rémi Quick-Step Floors s.t.
112 HOELGAARD Daniel Groupama-FDJ s.t.
113 FRISON Frederik Lotto-Soudal s.t.
114 JONES Brenton Delko-Marseille Provence 4:35
115 KASPERKIEWICZ Przemysław Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
116 CORNU Jérémy Direct Energie s.t.
117 ZARDINI Edoardo Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia s.t.
118 KONOVALOVAS Ignatas Groupama-FDJ s.t.
119 GREGAARD Jonas Astana 5:19
120 MINALI Riccardo Astana 5:32
121 TROIA Oliviero UAE-Team Emirates s.t.
122 LUNKE Sindre Fortuneo-Samsic s.t.
123 VAN DER LIJKE Nick Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij s.t.
124 VAN POPPEL Boy Trek-Segafredo s.t.
125 CAPIOT Amaury Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise s.t.
126 BOU Joan Nippo-Vini Fantini s.t.
127 EINHORN Itamar Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
128 HEINSCHKE Leon Sunweb Development Team s.t.
129 GALL Felix Sunweb Development Team s.t.
130 GRADEK Kamil CCC Sprandi Polkowice s.t.