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Gooikse Pijl

Gerben Thijssen wins the Gooikse Pijl

Gerben Thijssen took his third succes of the season in the Gooikse Pijl this Sunday, in a bunch sprint managed to perfection by Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert. The Walloon World Team stayed united during the whole race, patiently waiting to appear at the front in the eighth and last lap in Gooik.

Sprinters Alexander Kristoff and Gerben Thijssen were brought to the front by Boy van Poppel to start the final 1000 meter one after the other, perfectly positioned before the final straight. The former European champion launched his sprint with 250 meter to go, after which his teammate passed him on the left to defeat Jasper Philipsen for the victory with a bike throw.

After two second places in this classic in huis two previous participations (2017 and 2020), Thijssen crowned the series of good results, obtaining the 24th victory of the season for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert. Alexander Kristoff finished seventh.

« After the Vuelta I had the ambition to win one of the four one day races on my programme this end of the season. I expected it to be a serious challenge, taking into account the strong field of sprinters in each race. I finished second twice here in Gooik in the past, so I knew that this race suited me. In the two last kilometers Corné Van Kessel brought me to the slipstream of Boy van Poppel and Alexander Kristoff. As planned, Alexander launched his effort from far, so I could get out of his slipstream with 150 meter to go. To receive a lead out from such a champion is just incredible. I could really use my power in this slightly uphill sprint. I probably rode one of the best ten seconds of my life, filled with confidence and claiming the win. I took my third victory of the season and maybe the nicest one, seeing all those big names finishing behind me. »


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