Eenkhoorn on the Attack in Closing Kilometers at IWT - Oetingen28. June 2017, Oetingen (BEL) — Development Team
Pascal Eenkhoorn seized the opportunity to go on the attack in the closing kilometers of IWT - Oetingen today before a chaotic finale saw Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions) take a solo victory.
The day’s early three-rider breakaway was never given the freedom to establish a solid advantage at the front of the race with the peloton keeping them close before the last remaining rider was caught after the first 70km of the day.
A few tentative moves soon followed but as the race began the first of five finishing circuits with 75km, of the 184km course, to go, the peloton was back together.
The fierce pace being set at the front of the race saw small gaps form and eventually, on the penultimate 15km lap, just 50 riders were left in the bunch, including Eenkhoorn, Mario Spengler, and Bram Welten.
As the bell rang, Eenkhoorn and Jérôme Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) were chasing Olivier Pardini (WB-Veranclassic-Aqua Protect), who had attacked alongside Eenkhoorn off the front of the bunch inside the final 20km.
Eenkhoorn worked hard to bridge the gap, and eventually, the trio joined forces with 7km to go however the peloton wasn’t far behind.
Ultimately, the race came back together going under the flamme rouge before the ultimately decisive attack from Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions) saw him ride solo to take the day’s honors.
Behind Aerts, the main bunch was split up across the road with Welten and Spengler sitting in a good position before a chaotic final cobbled section saw them knocked out of contention for the bunch sprint for the remaining podium places.
The team now heads to the start line on Saturday for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad U23.
Quotes From the Finish Line
“I attacked on the first of two cobbled sections on the local laps. Olivier Pardini (WB-Veranclassic-Aqua Protect) then joined me before accelerated ahead to hover around ten seconds in front. érôme Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) then joined me, and we were working well together before making the catch. However, with some of the bigger teams missing the move, the bunch was chasing hard behind us. One lap later, we hit the cobbles again, and a few riders bridged across to us, but everyone was pretty tired by that point, so it all came back together. It was really hectic with the final cobbled sections starting with 3km to go and not finishing until the last 500m. I was blocked a bit in the group so I could follow the late move.”
“I showed that I am in good form right now and I felt really strong. I also think I was racing smart today. Normally I am not a rider who wants to wait, but I saved my energy today as I knew the final laps would be hard and that I could do something there. It was a shame it didn’t work out, but with the level of this race and strong guys here, I am happy with how I did, and hopefully, I can do something good in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad U23.”
Sports Director, Klaas Lodewyck:
“Our plan was to take it as easy as possible in the beginning. We only had a couple of big teams to focus on so we made the decision that we would only try for the breakaway if they were also represented. We wanted to get to the final having saved some energy and with as many riders as possible. It worked out pretty well for us with other teams controlling the race. We were able to wait and the going onto the last lap Pascal Eenkhoorn made his move. They were able to get a small advantage over the peloton but then with around 6km to go, it all came back together. We still had Mario Spengler and Bram Welten in the front group to go for the sprint, but it was chaotic on the final cobbled section, and we lost a good position. The guys did well today though. They did what I asked of them, and I think this was a good way to prepare for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad U23.”
IWT - Oetingen
One day race: Oetingen > Oetingen, 184km
Top 3: 1. Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions) 2. Joeri Stallaert (Cibel-Cebon) 3. Corne Van Kessel