Julian Alaphilippe finally debuted the world champion rainbow jersey with a victory in the 60th edition of the Brabanzone Arrow, played between Leuven and Overijse, with a distance of 197 kilometers.
Triumph with anguish and almost with surprise, since Alaphilippe, in a very tight sprint with his compatriot Benoit Cosnefroy (Ag2r), won by centimeters, raising his arms in advance, as he did in Liège.
Only this time he did it in good time.
This time yes, the 28-year-old cyclist from Saint-Amand-Montrond celebrated the triumph with all deserves, with the same time as his compatriot, 4:42:54, and the Dutchman
Matthieu Van der Poel
(Alpecin Fenix), who occupied the third place.
They were the strongest in the final escape that was forged 11 kilometers from the finish at the initiative of Alaphilippe himself.
The pursuers, with Italian
Sonny Colbrelli leading
, entered 14 seconds.
The test of the 24 heights was a fight from the beginning, as is usual in the Brabant race.
A getaway was immediately formed with 6 men who animated the day: Chevrier, Juraj Sagan, Storer, Sprengers, Peron and Skjelmose.
The adventure was controlled at all times by the peloton, especially by the men of Alaphilippe's Deceuninck, who had victory between their eyebrows after the great fiasco last Sunday in Liège.
At 60 kilometers from the finish the escape was collapsed and the great names of the race came into play.
Alaphilippe, always combative, along with Kwiatowski and Luka Rowe, started the first movements.
It was already going to be an all-out battle to Overijse, with a few heights still ahead.
A process of attrition that left 25 km from the finish line in front of a group made up of the world champion, Van der Poel, the Spanish
, Cosnefroy and the Italian Colbrelli.
The claw at Moskestraat
From behind there were attacks that prevented the escape, but again Alaphilippe tried 15 km from the finish, wearing down the strength of some rivals, who were struggling to follow the wheel of the Deceuninck leader.
The key moment came on the climb to the Cota de
There, 11 km from the finish line, was where the trio that was going to play the victory was formed.
Van der Poel, triple cyclo-cross world champion and defender of the Brabanzona Arrow title, hit Alaphilippe on the climb, and they were joined by Cosnefroy.
Climbing Holstheide the leading trio took a handful of seconds that they were going to know how to pay off.
There was an understanding at the top to prevent the Colbrelli group from approaching, an uncomfortable sprinter for the final stretch.
In the final tactical game, it was Van der Poel who assumed responsibility by setting the pace, an effort that paid off at the moment of truth, as Cosnefroy attacked 200 meters from the goal and easily overtook the Dutchman.
Cosnefroy had it at hand, but Alaphilippe, in the final arreón, and by a few centimeters, put the wheel as the winner.
The world champion raised his arms.
This time with good reason.
According to the criteria of The Trust Project
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