Merlier and Girmay start in Brussels Cycling Classic
On Sunday 4 June, it is once again time for the Brussels Cycling Classic. This time, the 113th edition. According to the provisional start list, at the start in the beautiful Cinquantenaire Park, we will have a mix of top sprinters, including Tim Merlier and Jordi Meeus, as well as more classics riders such as Biniam Girmay and Dries De Bondt. Who is going to win this year as successor to Taco van der Hoorn on the Houba de Strooperlaan, in the shadow of the Atomium?
In 2022, Taco van der Hoorn took a rained-drenched edition of the Brussels Cycling Classic from the breakaway. Leader on duty in his Intermarché - Circus - Wanty team is undoubtedly Biniam Girmay this year. The Eritrean can count on a strong sprint himself, but can also make it very difficult for the pure sprinters during the double passage over the Muur van Geraardsbergen, Bosberg and Congoberg.
Among those fast men, Tim Merlier is the one to watch out for. The Belgian champion will be defending his title at the national championships in Izegem at the end of this month and will be keen to add some extra shine to the tricolour. The Soudal Quick-Step leader can also add his name to the honorary list for the second time. He won the race in 2020, but then the loop in and around Geraardsbergen was not part of the course.
If it comes to a sprint, Jordi Meeus might be one of Merlier’s biggest challengers. The Limburger from BORA – hansgrohe recently showed himself to be the fastest in the Circuit de Wallonie and, in the run-up to the national championships; he will want to measure himself against the man who beat him in Middelkerke last year. Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) will be there as well. The Frenchman won the Brussels Cycling Classic in 2017. Other riders to watch out for include Bryan Coquard (Cofidis), David Dekker (Team Arkea-Samsic) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Israel - Premier Tech).
A team who might benefit from a tough finale is Alpecin-Deceuninck. Leader on the provisional start list is Dries De Bondt. The former Belgian champion was the best in the Antwerp Port Epic recently. TotalEnergies will be counting on classics riders as well. The French team comes to Brussels with Dries Van Gestel and Anthony Turgis. Discover the provisional start list here.