Wellens, Bastianelli win a somber Brabantse Pijl: Daily News Digest

by Neal Rogers

April 12, 2018

In today’s Daily News Digest: Wellens solos to victory at Brabantse Pijl, dedicates victory to Michael Goolaerts; Bastianelli wins first edition of women’s Brabantse Pijl; Autopsy confirms cardiac arrest caused Goolaerts’ Roubaix crash; Rémy Di Gregorio provisionally suspended for EPO; Five-time Flèche champion Valverde: ‘If I’m in the lead with 200 metres to go, it’s hard to beat me’; 100% launches Speedcraft Air to control nasal dilation; RockShox’s new TwistLoc brings remote lockout control to the grip; Fox boosts travel in its cross country platform with 34 Step-Cast 120mm fork.

Bastianelli wins first edition of women’s Brabantse Pijl

by Neal Rogers

Recent Gent-Wevelgem winner Marta Bastianelli (Alé Cipollini) took victory at the first edition of the women’s Brabantse Pijl Wednesday in Gooik ahead of Canadian Leah Kirchmann (Sunweb) and European Champion Marianne Vos (WaowDeals Pro Cycling). It was Bastianelli’s fifth win of the season.

As with the men’s race, the 136.8km route was filled with short climbs and cobblestone roads. The day opened with an eight-rider breakaway going clear of the bunch. The group managed to open up a one-minute advantage over the peloton but a 16-rider counter attack would eventually bring it back. Immediately after the catch was made, another group stayed away until the final local lap, where a reduced peloton made the catch. Attention then shifted to the sprint, with Bastianelli beating out Kirchmann.

“It was a really strong race from the team today,” Kirchmann said in a Sunweb team release. “We wanted to race aggressively, and succeeded in having representation in several breakaways during the race as we battled on the cobbles and climbs. In the end, it came back together for a reduced bunch sprint, and the team did a fantastic job leading me out for the uphill finish. I gave it everything and can be happy with a podium finish.”