Brussels Cycling Classic: Vermote Stays Away Until Final Kilometers, Maes Top 10
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Julien Vermote was one of the last riders out of an original breakaway to be caught, fighting hard with 7km to go in the 201km Brussels Cycling Classic on Saturday.
Vermote and five other riders had a maximum advantage of 6'40", but the peloton slowly pulled the riders back kilometer-by-kilometer. With 37km to go, just four riders remained in the breakaway. It was clear the race would end in a bunch sprint with about 28" of a gap and 16km remaining, but Vermote kept battling until the peloton finally absorbed two riders left ahead.
Lars Boom (Belkin Pro Cycling) went off the front in the final kilometers, but OPQS helped catch him inside the flamme rouge with about four riders chasing.
Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) won the stage. John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) was 2nd, and Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) was 3rd. Nikolas Maes of OPQS was 8th.