Brussels Cycling Classic: Boonen 3rd as Conditions Cause Complications
Etixx - Quick-Step rider Tom Boonen finished 3rd in the 200.8km Brussels Cycling Classic, which came down to a reduced bunch sprint on wet roads.
The Belgian rider finished behind winner Dylan Groenewegen (Team Roompot Oranje Peloton) and Roy Jans (Wanty - Groupe Gobert), suffering a mechanical due to debris from the wet and dirty road, causing complications with his rear derailleur.
Etixx - Quick-Step did a great job for Boonen, chasing down the breakaway of the day with 8 kilometers to go, then putting all riders on the front to control the race. The team still had several riders in front of Boonen with less than a kilometer to go.
"We did everything well today," Boonen said. "My teammates supported me, and we went into the final with basically all of our guys pulling in anticipation of the sprint. But in the final kilometers I had some shifting problems. I was on the wheel of Fabio Sabatini, but then suddenly the speed went down a little bit and was forced to shift. When I shifted again to relaunch I couldn't really do it due to the mechanical problems. It is a shame, but there is nothing you can do when materials of the road and the rain create complications like that. But OK, the race is over. I was still 3rd. The condition is there. Tomorrow there is GP de Fourmies. We will see if we can do something good there."