It was a day for a break to go through to the finish at De Brabantse Pijl today, with Michael Matthews taking the sprint from the reduced chasing bunch.
Riders had 197 kilometres of racing, with 26 Ardennes hills to contend with at today’s De Brabantse Pijl. An early break of five were allowed to go clear with one rider bridging across. As the bunch started to work to make the catch, the size of the peloton reduced with a multitude of riders loosing contact. As soon as the leaders were within the peloton’s reach, 13 riders attacked from the main bunch and bridged across to the first group. Team Sunweb were represented in the chasing group by Michael Matthews. The newly formed breakaway were able to stay away until the line and Michael took the sprint from the bunch finishing the day in 11th place.
“I felt good today,” explained Michael after the race. “The guys supported me well in the first part of the race then we lost some guys because of crashes. I couldn’t react to everything in the final and I’m disappointed that we didn’t get the break back so I could sprint. I had hoped for a better result – today was an unlucky day.”
Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek said: “We had too much bad luck today loosing four guys which cost us a lot in the final. Other teams looked to us but after loosing so many guys we couldn’t work to close the gap to the leaders. It was disappointing as more was possible but there will be more days, where we will for sure have some luck.”