Caleb Ewan wins rain-affected Brussels Cycling Classic
Australian Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) has won the Brussels Cycling Classic. After a tough race, due to the awful weather conditions, a select group sprinted for the victory. Ewan narrowly beat German Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe) and Belgian sprinter Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates).
The sun was still shining during the start presentation in the Jubelpark. Many of the top sprinters had descended on Brussels for a shot at the victory. Among them, Pascal Ackermann, last year's winner, pocket sprinter Caleb Ewan, Belgian champion Tim Merlier, man in form Jasper Stuyven and fast men Alexander Kristoff and Jasper Philipsen.The race was made hard from the start and soon a leading group of 7 riders was formed. Meanwhile, the sun had given way to rain clouds, making it a tough race.
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Laurens Devreese and Anthony Turgis braved the rain and eventually joined the leading group, which now consisted of 10 riders.
In the pack, Deceuninck-Quick Step took the initiative and the leading group was caught some 20 km from the finish. In the end, Deceuninck-Quick Step’s efforts were not rewarded. Their leader, Alvaro Hodeg, lost out in the final 10km due to material failure.
In the final kilometres the peloton broke up and a select group was able to sprint for the victory. Belgian champion Tim Merlier saw his chances go up in smoke when he slipped out of his click pedals when entering the sprint. It was Pascal Ackermann who went off early. He seemed to be holding on, but last year's winner was overtaken in the final metres by Caleb Ewan. Jasper Philipsen came third.