Cosnefroy triumphs on the Brusselsesteenweg

Cosnefroy triumphs on the Brusselsesteenweg

Road  10/04/2024

Benoit Cosnefroy has won De Brabantse Pijl. After three podium finishes in the past, the Frenchman could finally claim victory. He made it ahead of Teuns and Wellens.

At 12:35, the riders set off from the Ladeuzeplein in Leuven for the last Flemish classic of the spring. After numerous attack attempts early in the race, the early breakaway was finally formed just after the first hour of racing. Six riders managed to get free of the peloton: Riou (Arkea B&B - Hotels), Debeaumarche (Cofidis), Reynders (Bingoal WB), Whelan (Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team), Manzin (TotalEnergies) and Johannessen (Uno-X Mobility). Ultimately, two more riders would make the crossing: Warlop (Soudal Quick-Step) and Kopecký (TDT-Unibet).

Together the group built up a lead of a maximum of about 2 minutes, thus they were never able to get too far ahead. Their story was already history on the first local lap. On the Holstheide, with 63 km to go, the peloton caught them. Barely 5 km later, it was time again for a new attack. Huby (Soudal Quick-Step), Leknessund (Uno-X Mobility) and Segaert (Lotto Dstny) took their chance.

On the second passage on the Moskesstraat, Morgado (UAE Team Emirates) tried to shake things up, with his teammate Wellens in his wheel. On reaching the top, it was Wellens who took over. The fireworks on the Moskesstraat brought more of the riders to life. 40km from the finish, the leading group consisted of: Huby - Leknessund - Segaert - Laurance & Kragh Andersen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) - Cosnefroy (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team) - De Pooter (Intermarché-Wanty) - Morgado - Van den Broek (Team dsm-firmenich PostNL) - Craddock (Team Jayco AlUla) and Williams (Israel Premier Tech).

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But a group of 11 was too much for the peloton. EF Education - Easypost closed the gap, so we were back to square one. On the third climb of the Moskesstraat, 30 km from the finish, it was the turn of Teuns (Israel Premier Tech) to burst away. Wellens and also Van den Berg (EF Education-Easypost) hooked on their wagons.

Entering the final lap, the trio in front had a lead of about 20 seconds. However, 11 km from the finish, at the foot of the Moskesstraat, this lead had halved. It was Van den Berg who now set the pace, but Wellens and Teuns managed to keep up over the Moskesstraat. Quinten Hermans was the only one at this stage who managed to cross from the peloton.

On the Holstheide, Cosnefroy also managed to escape the peloton and now we had a leading group of five. Within this group, things became a little quiet, although Teuns tried to keep the tempo high. Two more riders came to join the leading group: Cepeda (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Blackmore (Israel - Premier Tech). The latter immediately took to the front so that no one else from behind could join up with the leaders.

2.5 km from the finish, Van den Berg quietly slipped away. It was ultimately Blackmore who brought the chasers back on Van den Berg's wheel. In the sprint, it was finally Cosnefroy who made it. Teuns was second, Wellens third. Cosnefroy finally got to celebrate success after no fewer than three podium finishes in recent years.

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