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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, April 12, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. - Andy Warhol

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Michael Goolaerts suffered heart attack before crash: autopsy

Here's the report from Agence France Presse:

An autopsy on stricken cyclist Michael Goolaerts, who died during Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, confirmed the Belgian suffered a heart attack before crashing in the early stages of the cycling one-day classic.

Goolaerts, 23, was found unconscious and not breathing at the side of the road after racing along one of the course's famous cobbled sections.

Despite treatment at a hospital in Lille, the Veranda's Willems team rider was pronounced dead late on Sunday.

"The autopsy confirms the previous hypothesis that death was due to a heart attack and not a crash," the state prosecutor for Cambrai, Remy Schwartz, told AFP on Wednesday.

"He suffered an attack while racing. His heart stopped, and that's why he crashed."

Michael Goolaerts

Michael Goolaerts

You can read the entire story here.

Brabantse Pijl team reports

We posted the report from winner Tim Wellens' Lotto-Soudal team with the race results.

Team Quick-Step Floors posted this race update:

Coming off a strong Vuelta al Pais Vasco, Pieter Serry was a main protagonist at the 58th edition of Brabantse Pijl, which took place between Leuven and Overijse over a 201.9km-long course packed with 27 short but punchy climbs. The Quick-Step Floors rider did a very strong and impressive race, responding to several attacks launched inside the final 40 kilometers and tracking down the moves of his opponents, before booking a place in an elite group which went clear on the last lap.

Pieter didn't spare any effort in that group, taking the front and putting in some amazing pulls to ensure a significant gap on a single file peloton which was chasing them going into the last two climbs of the day, Ijskerderlaan and Schavei. When Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) attacked, Serry was the one to do most of the work behind, but a lack of cooperation spelled the end of the road for the six-man group, as the sizeable bunch made the catch with just three kilometers to go.

While Wellens was soloing to victory, other accelerations followed from the peloton on the last hill of the race, and Pieter hit the forefront again, stretching out the field and putting others into the gutter with his sharp accelerations. In a highly-contested sprint for the podium, the 29-year-old Belgian finished just outside the top three, a more than promising result ahead of the upcoming Ardennes week.

Tim Wellens

Tim Wellens wins the Brabantse Pijl

"Fourth today is a good result, but I'm a bit disappointed for not finishing on the podium. My legs were very strong and on the last two laps I attacked a lot, as I felt I could make the difference. When Wellens took off, I worked really hard behind to shut down the gap, but it was difficult to bring him back", said Pieter Serry, who so far this season has amassed four top-10 placings, at Vuelta a Murcia, Drôme Classic, Strade Bianche and Brabantse Pijl. "Today's race makes me even more confident for the Ardennes, where we hope to score some more nice results and continue what's been a brilliant spring for Quick-Step Floors."

Here's the report from second-place (and 2017 winner) Sonny Colbrelli's Bahrain-Merida team:

Overijse, 12h April – “I’m satisfied for the second place and my team worked very well” was the first comment of today’s 210.9 km long stage from Sonny Colbrelli, the runner up position at the finish of Brabantse Pijl race. But he couldn’t have done it without the help of his teammates that carried out excellent work throughout the whole race.

The 58th edition of Brabantse Pijl race was another one in the "Cycling of Flanders", a 20-hills race and a race with a character, is how the locals call it.

After the sad presentation of teams in Overijse and the neutral start and a loop in silent memories of Michael Goalerts (Verandas Williams) the race started in good conditions, partially cloudy sky and dry roads.

BAHRAIN MERIDA riders started the race highly motivated, with Sonny Colbrelli as a first leader and Enrico Gasparotto as the second. All of them were aware of their role and importance of helping the leaders to achieve a good result.

Just a few kilometers after the start a group of 6 riders went in a breakaway and held an approximate gap of 3 minutes along the way. But after 120 km the breakaway was caught and mostly the riders of Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team and Lotto Jumbo took control in their hands.

Enrico Gasparotto, Grega Bole and Sonny Colbrelli with continuous support from Borut Božić, Hermann Pernsteiner and Yukiya Arashiro, gave their best for one more big big result of Sonny Colbrelli.

After 100 km Borut Božič had a crash and broke his right collarbone and was driven to the Herestraat Leuven Hospital in the company of TBM Dr. Luca Pollastri.

At 3 laps to finish, each 20 km long, Grega Bole took over the new breakaway group of 10 riders and Sonny Colbrelli was just behind him. Enrico Gasparotto was at the front of the peloton with support and sneaking and trying to make a jump.

Sonny Colbrelli

Sonny Colbrelli wins the sprint for second.

Each member of BAHRAIN MERIDA Team was very aware and energetic, but Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) attacked with just over 7.5km to go and made the secure distance of the threats from the peloton and executed a solo victory ahead of last year’s winner Sonny Colbrelli (TBM) and Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal).

Ag2r headed to Amstel Gold Race

The team sent me this:

Riders scheduled to race Amstel Gold: Ben Gastauer, Silvan Dillier, Alexis Vuillermoz, Oliver Naesen, Jan Bakelants, Axel Domont & Benoit Cosefroy.

DS: Julien Jurdie

Axel Dumont

Axel Domont

AXEL DOMONT : “I have been suffering from a bad case of sinusitis, which has bothered me since the end of Paris-Nice and continued though the Tour of Catalonia. For three weeks I was not doing very well. But I took time to recuperate, I rested well, and now everything is fine. I have been able to train well too. For my return to racing at Paris-Camembert, the sensations were pretty good and I’m confident for the future. I am very happy to be racing the three Ardennes classics. The Amstel Gold Race is a fun course where you have to be careful because it is very urbanized and can be quite dangerous. You have to be vigilant all day because crashing is the greatest enemy. The peloton is a mix between those who raced the cobbled classics and are at the end of a segment of their season, and then those who will be coming into the Ardennes with a lot of energy, ready to attack. My favorite race of the triptych is Liège. It is the hardest, and the one where I feel most comfortable, even if last year, I crashed in my first time racing it.”


By finishing second in Paris-Roubaix last Sunday, Silvan Dillier gained 156 places in the UCI WorldTour standings. He is now in 28th place. The AG2R LA MONDIALE team has moved up three places, and is now eighth.

Alexis Gougeard, who after injuring a foot made his comeback to racing on Tuesday in Paris-Camembert, will race the Tour du Finistère, replacing Rudy Barbier, who is still insufficiently recovered from his crash at the Tour of Flanders.

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