Race report

Primus Classic proves a tricky finish

This year’s Primus Classic was an unpredictable affair, seeing the ambitions of the day’s sprinters vanish in the final moments, as a strong solo move proved enough to beat the fast men by only a few inches.

Leaving Brakel, the route took in a variety of 15 testing hellingen, totalling 197 kilometres by the time the race reached its finishing destination of Haacht. Having seen a group of five leaders escape early on in the day, the peloton were content enough with the move to allow the gap to stabilise around five minutes for much of the racing.

As the race entered the final 25 kilometres, the advantage to the escapees was reducing, which inspired several riders to form a counter attack and further fracture the main bunch. As a result of tough climbs, strong winds and constant attacks, the peloton soon began to see its numbers reduced while still in pursuit of the leaders.

By this point Cees Bol had successfully managed to survive the selection process with some teammates to keep him safe; riding intelligently and working hard to reduce the effort required to remain in contention for the victory.

Within the final 10 kilometres a solo attacker went clear, doing so until less than 5 kilometres from the finish, when a counter attack managed to bridge over from the peloton and push onwards to take the win. However, with the sprinters eager to contest the win, it was an extremely close affair, as the day’s winner crossed the line only several inches ahead of the sprinting bunch; Cees Bol finishing in 13th.

Team Sunweb Coach Michiel Elijzen spoke afterwards: “The day’s goal was to work for Cees and set him up for the sprint finish, but we knew it was going to be a hard race to do this, especially with such a small bunch late on. Together with Louis, Cees managed to survive all 15 of the day’s climbs and was there to sprint for the win in Haacht. However, there was not to be any top ten result for us on the day.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 THEUNS Edward Trek - Segafredo 4:36:42 200
2 ACKERMANN Pascal BORA - hansgrohe ,, 150
3 DE BUYST Jasper Lotto Soudal ,, 125
13 BOL Cees Team Sunweb ,, 20
24 VERVAEKE Louis Team Sunweb ,, 5
75 KANTER Max Team Sunweb 6:14 -
87 KRAGH ANDERSEN Asbjørn Team Sunweb ,, -
98 KOOISTRA Marten Team Sunweb 9:49 -
DNF FRÖHLINGER Johannes Team Sunweb - -
DNS WALSCHEID Max Team Sunweb ,, -