Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick Step) won the Brabançonne Arrow 2020 this Wednesday. Beaten last year by Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), the Frenchman took his revenge by beating the Dutchman and Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) in a three-man sprint. Like on Liège-Bastogne-Liège last Sunday, Julian Alaphilippe raised his arms a few feet before the line and almost got caught by Mathieu van der Poel, but he managed to keep a few inches ahead of the Dutchman to secure the victory.
Video – Julian Alaphilippe won the Flèche Brabançonne
6 riders in the front, but the peloton is not far
A breakaway of 6 riders is formed at the start of the race with Clement Chevrier (AG2R La Mondiale), Juraj Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Michael Storer (Sunweb), Mattias Skjelmose (Trek-Segafredo), Thomas Sprengers (Sport Flanders Baloise) et Andrea Peron (Novo Nordisk). However, 60 kilometers from the finish, the leading riders were only a minute ahead of the peloton, when the race began to really get carried away. Several favorites are also trying to create running movements, but everyone stays together and what remains of the breakaway is about to be caught with 43 kilometers from the goal.
Mathieu van der Poel and Julian Alaphilippe ignite the powder
Then a few runners pass to attack me like Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal) and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), but no one can tell the difference. Finally, 33km from the finish, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin Fenix) accelerates in a cobbled difficulty and alone Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick Step) manages to follow it! The duo are continued by Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-McLaren), Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) and Omar Fraile (Astana), who manage to come back. However, the peloton is not far and in the next difficulty, Michal Kwiatkowski (INEOS Grenadiers) makes the jump and comes back on the head. There are about twenty kilometers to go, and the six leading men have only a handful of seconds ahead of a group of pursuers, who manage to make the junction a few moments later.
Alaphilippe wins in the sprint
The race is completely crazy and a group of 7 takes the lead again: Alaphilippe, van der Poel, Cosnefroy, Kwiatkowski, Colbrelli, Dries Devenyns (Deceuninck – Quick Step) et Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates). This time, it seems to be the right move because these men manage to take a good lead over their first pursuers. In yet another cobbled difficulty, Alaphilippe tests his opponents and once again the only one to answer is Mathieu van der Poel. Benoît Cosnefroy hangs on and these three runners take off 10km from the finish. They approach the final ascent of the Schavei with enough lead to fight for victory, van der Poel in the lead ahead Cosnefroy and Alaphilippe. Cosnefryy start the sprint first, but Alaphilippe runs over him and raises his arms. However, van der Poel throws the bike and is very close to jumping the world champion on the line, but Alaphilippe keeps a few centimeters ahead and wins ahead of the Dutchman and Cosnefroy.