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Heistse Pijl

Planckaert 6th at the end of a chaotic final

Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux started its long weekend of Belgian classics with the Heistse Pijl (1.1) in the province of Antwerp this Saturday. The race of 192 kilometer contained six local laps with each time the Heistseberg, a small cobbled climb in the final two kilometer before the finish line. 

The World Team took its responsibility and was each time well positioned in the approach towards this unique difficulty on the parcours. After catching the last survivors of the early breakaway, a complete peloton started the final 10 kilometer. The nervosity caused several crashes in which Corné Van Kessel was involved and which also spoiled the chances of Gerben Thijssen.

Despite this bad luck, Baptiste Planckaert was led out by Boy van Poppel towards the last passage on the Heistseberg. The Belgian was one of the first riders on the top and could sprint for the victory. He finished sixth, obtaining his fourth top ten since the beginning of May.

My role was to race attentively and follow interesting race movements. As several strong sprinter’s teams were present, the race was more controlled than in previous editions. The approach towards the Heistseberg caused a lot of nervosity each lap. A lot of risks were taken, especially in the last lap, resulting in several crashes. We lost Corné Van Kessel in this way and also Gerben Thijssen was forced to switch bikes. When we understood that Gerben would not be able to join the peloton in time, we decided to play my card. Boy van Poppel brought be in a perfect position before the Heistseberg and from there on it was a sprint to the finish. We were not lucky today, but a new opportunity is waiting for us on Monday in the Ronde van Limburg! 


General Classification


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