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Brabantse Pijl

Vito Braet finishes 9th after a hard race

After achieving its first top ten of the season in a Monument on the occasion of Paris-Roubaix last Sunday, Intermarché-Wanty is heading to the Ardennes with the Brabantse Pijl, the last spring classic on Flemish soil this Wednesday 10th of April.

Once again this year, the Ladeuzeplein in Leuven is the setting for the start of the 64th edition, which will be 195 kilometres long. Before entering the local circuit around Overijse, the riders will cross Flemish and Walloon Brabant and back in 122 kilometer, and cover six of the 22 categorised climbs. 

The most difficult part of the race is yet to come, during the nearly four 20 kilometer laps, without the Hagaard climb, but including the other traditional difficulties of the Hertstraat, Holstheide, the cobbled Moskesstraat and the S-corner shortly before the finish in the Brusselsesteenweg. 

The young team directed by Dimitri Claeys and Laurenzo Lapage contains two riders who finished in the top 20 in the lastest edition: Francesco Busatto, who recently finished fourth in the Volta NXT Classic, and Vito Braet, who achieved several podium finishes this season and obtained his first World Tour top 10 in the Itzulia Basque Country last week.

They will be joined by Dries De Pooter, Tom Paquot and Georg Zimmermann from the World Team, as well as two U23 riders from Wanty-ReUz-Technord Continental Development Team, Victor Hannes and Wouter Toussaint, who showed themselves in the Circuit des Ardennes last weekend.

"My transition to the World Tour went fluently, because the structure of Intermarché-Wanty helped me to make progression in all areas. Our December training camp and our excellent equipment immediately made a big difference. I'm also thinking of the progress made in terms of nutrition, thanks to the daily follow up with sports dieticians Jana Camphens and Astrid Roekens and qualitative partners such as Maurten. Also the way we race as a team helps a lot, it gives you wings when your teammates give everything they can to bring you into the best possible position to achieve a result. But the same time, I really enjoy working for our leaders, like Gerben Thijssen." "All these factors enabled me to be competitive from my first races at the highest level. I was able to surprise myself with a first podium in a one day race, the Figueira Champions Classic, a tough one. I came home from Itzulia Basque Country, my first stage race at this high level, with a satisfying first top ten in the World Tour and in a good condition. Now, my ambition is to finish my spring classics campaign with good performances at the Brabantse Pijl and the Amstel Gold Race this week." "I've been looking forward to Wednesday's Brabantse Pijl for a very long time. I like this classic, with almost 200 kilometres of short climbs and some cobbles. After my two top 20 finishes in the previous editions I know I can perform well here. I'll race attentively, because decisive moves can be made from the entry on the local circuit. Unlike last year, the absence of rain can be in favour of a larger peloton at the finish. I've noticed that the start list includes quite a few riders who raced Paris-Roubaix. That could be an advantage for our selection. With Francesco Busatto, we have another strong asset in our team, as he showed recently in the tough Volta NXT Classic." "After that, I'm looking forward to race Amstel Gold Race on Sunday, a prestigious classic on a fantastic course. In principle, I'll be riding in support of my teammates. Maybe my role will be to anticipate, which could possibly end in a good result, you never know. I'll then start a period of rest and training in preparation of a long series of Belgian semi-classics in May, events to which we attach great importance with Intermarché-Wanty. Together with my trainer Adriaan Helmantel, we're going to prepare for this period as good as we can, so that I can keep up the momentum."

General Classification


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