Dorian Godon (Ag2r-Citroën) drilled the final sprint to relegate Ben Healy (EF Education-EasyPost) into second in Brabantse Pijl.
The 22-year-old from Ireland got on Godon’s wheel into the final 2km to the line, but the Frenchman had the legs to deliver the win as the pair fended off the fractured bunch.
“It’s a big win for me and I am proud to win in this weather and these conditions,” Godon said. “I was trying to follow the wheels when the attacks came. I felt good in the break. I knew that I was a decent sprint and I was confident I could win. You never know what will happen at the end of a hard race.”
Rémi Cavagna (Soudal Quick-Step) drove the decisive split, and later formed part of five-rider split that forged a gap on the bell lap. Healy attacked, and Cavagna didn’t have the legs to stay with the final accelerations led by Healy with 20km to go.
Godon latched on to Healy, and the pair nursed their lead all the way to the red kite. Healy didn’t take a pull, but Godon had the legs to come home with the win.
It was another impressive ride for Healy, who won twice in Italy last month for his first pro wins in Europe.
“I could feel the legs were good, and I gave it a good go. There was a guy as strong as me, and I knew how the sprint was going to go,” Healy said. “I laid it all out there. I know I don’t have the best sprint in the world. When he opened up, I just had nothing to give, and that was that.”
Benoît Consnefroy (Ag2r-Citroën) nipped his compatriot in the closing kilometer to hit third to give the French squad two spots on the final podium at the mid-week Belgian classic, with Cavagna fourth.
A mix of rain, wind, and the occasional breakout of sun made for a challenging stage. The hilly profile saw the peloton split up, come together, and split up again.
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