Andrea Pasqualon rode to a strong sixth spot in Brabantse Pijl (1.HC, 11/04)after an excellent team performance with a remarkable ride of Xandro Meurisse in the final. After an emotional minute of silence before the start in Leuven the peloton headed with direction Overijse. A group of seven riders was a long time in front. In the local laps around Overijse Wanty-Groupe Gobert showed good form with Jérôme Baugnies, Xandro Meurisse and an acceleration of Frederik Backaert.
In the final lap Xandro Meurisse joined an acceleration of Tim Wellens, Enrico Gasparotto and some others. Tim Wellens jumped clear to a solo victory, the group with Meurisse was caught by a reduced group in the reduced peloton. In this group a strong Andrea Pasqualon was present. He positioned himself well and sprinted to sixth spot in the final uphill kilometer.
"It was a very hard and nervous race, but the course suited my characteristics perfectly. This is a good result for me and the team. We always had a rider in front. Meurisse was in front in the final and it was according to the plan for me to wait for the sprint with the fast riders."
"The condition is good and now we head with confidence to Amstel Gold Race and Flèche Wallonne. This 1 kilometer uphill finish seems a lot like Coppa Sabatini, where I took the victory last year. But of course the competition and nervousness made the race a lot tougher here. Already the first passage in the local laps was very tough!"
"The team's performance today gives me hope for the next races since we were with four riders present in the final group of around 40 riders. Looking forward to Sunday!"
1. Tim Wellens
2. Sonny Colbrelli + 00:09
3. Tiesj Benoot
6. Andrea Pasqualon
20. Xandro Meurisse + 00:19
45. Frederik Backaert + 01:18
58. Jérôme Baugnies + 01:25
60. Dion Smith + 02:00
DNF Tom Devriendt
DNF Odd Eiking