Team LottoNL-Jumbo raced aggressively in the Brabantse Pijl this afternoon in Belgium and finished with three riders in the top 15, including Bert-Jan Lindeman in fifth.
Italian Sonny Colbrelli won the 2017 edition. Victor Campenaerts placed ninth and Paul Martens 12th for LottoNL-Jumbo. Both Lindeman and Campenaerts formed part of the decisive break.
"We did everything we could,” said Lindeman. "Victor attacked several times and I tried it also. Sometimes you are lucky and get a reward."
With 50 kilometres to go, Campenaerts attacked and took some riders with him. At the start of the last lap of 23 kilometres, a group with Lindeman lined up. The peloton came close, but only two riders managed to jump to the front and 10 men could eventually sprint for victory.
"I was pleased enormously with each attempt to outwit the leading group. This is my way of racing,” Lindeman added.
“We have a highly motivated team that wants to race. The team that rode in Catalunya and the Basque Country is combative. We are ready to try at anytime. It's nice to race this way.”
The team was always where it wanted to be at the front over the Belgian roads near Brussels.
“Our plan was to race aggressively from the moment we arrived on the local laps. And we did,” Sports Director Addy Engels said.
“It's great that guys like Lindeman and Campenaerts can ride for the win. Lindeman appeared to be one of the strongest of the leading group. It is unfortunate that he had to get back in his saddle in the sprint. It’s a fair finish. No one is surprised with Colbrelli winning, but I'm glad we have ridden this way.
"We had two good men in the front and behind, we still had good men. Lindeman and Campenaerts rode for the win. Behind, Juanjo Lobato and Paul Martens had the task to follow the rest. If the gap was closed, they could’ve gone for it.”
As with the País Vasco, Paul Martens rode a strong race in the group behind.
“In the group sprint he was second behind only Matthews. That's really good. "