The peloton rolled out of Brussels this morning, faced with a 207 kilometre route that took on some of the famous climbs from the spring classics with a double passage of the Muur van Geraardsbergen and the Bosberg. It was a steady start to proceedings with a four rider group going clear, and with all Team DSM riders in the bunch, focus remained on staying safe and saving energy for what was to come.
Approaching the first passage of the Muur the break’s advantage had reached a maximum of around four minutes but an increase in pace saw that fall dramatically and a group of around 20 riders forge clear from the peloton; which included Team DSM’s Tobias Lund Andresen, after some great positioning work by the rest of the team. With around 70 kilometres to go Lund Andresen’s group built up a 45 second advantage over the peloton and that’s where it hovered at for most of the race, as they swept up the remnants of the break on the second passage of the Muur.
Heading into the last 20 kilometres the gap fell to just 15 seconds at one point and it looked as if the peloton, where Pavel Bittner, Casper van Uden and Vlad Van Mechelen were, was going to come back. Yet the elastic snapped for the final time and the front group would go on to battle it out for the win. Due to the size of the group attacks were expected but Lund Andresen played it calm, allowing others to close down the moves and set up a sprint finish. Biding his time, Lund Andresen used his positioning skills to take up a strong slot near the front of the group before launching a powerful sprint on the uphill drag to the line. Giving everything he had, Arnaud Démare just came around the Team DSM rider in the closing 25 metres, with Lund Andresen taking a very credible and impressive second place.