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Having escaped with 10 riders inside the final 3km, Vangenechten beat De Buyst and Van Asbroeck in a sprint to break Leukemans’ four-year string in the Druivenkoers Overijse

Photo: ASO / B. Bade








27.08.2014 @ 18:52 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After four consecutive wins by Bjorn Leukemans (Wanty), the Druivenkoers Overijse finally got a new winner when Jonas Vangenechten (Lotto Belisol) emerged as the strongest in the 54th edition of the race. The Belgian escaped with 9 other riders inside the final 3km and held off the Topsport Vlaanderen pair of Jasper De Buyst and Tom Van Asbroeck to claim the victory.


In the last four years, Bjorn Leukemans has completely dominated the Druivenkoers Overijse, winning the hard Belgian one-day race every year since 2010. Today his streak came to an end when he had to settle for fourth in the 2014 edition of the race.


Leukemans was part of the 10-rider group that escaped with less than 3km to go but the Belgian was unable to beat Jonas Vangenechten in the final sprint. A few weeks after his big win in the Tour de Pologne, the Lotto Belisol sprinter took another victory by beating Jasper De Buyst and Tom Van Asbroeck in the final dash to the line.


The 54th edition of the Druivenkoers Overijse was held on a 195.5km course that started and finished in Overijse. The first part was made up of three laps of a 31km circuit before the race ended with 8 laps of a shorter 12km circuit. Along the way, the riders had to tackle no less than 26 hellingen, making the race very comparable to the Brabantse Pijl. Tombeurstaraat and Lanestraat both featured on the finishing circuit, with the latter coming just 3km from the line.


The first attack was launched by Mathias Van Holderbeke (Team Cibel), Alexander Cools (Vastgoed Service - Golden Palace) and Dennis Bakker (Metec TKH) but it was the subsequent move by Jack Wilson (An Post - Chain Reaction), Stefan Poutsma (CT Jo Piels), Arno Van der Zwet (Koga CT) and Dennis Bakker (Metec TKH). That laid the foundations for the early break. In a very fast first part of the race, they were joined by 23 riders to form a big 27-rider group.


The break was made up of Sean De Bie (Lotto-Belisol), Rick Flens, Dennis Van Winden (Belkin), Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Cesare Benedetti (NetApp-Endura), Diether Sweeck (Kwadro-Stannah), Gertjan De Vos, Christophe Sleurs (Team 3M), Quinten Hermans (Telenet-Fidea), Alexander Cools, Rob Ruijgh (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace), Giorgio Brambilla (Veranclassic-Doltcini), Quentin Bertolet (Wallonie-Bruxelles), Jan Dieteren (Stölting), Conor Dunne, Mark McNally, Jack Wilson (An Post-Chain Reaction), Stefan Poutsma, Berden De Vries (CT Jo Piels), Arno Van der Zwet (Koga CT), Dennis Bakker, Jarno Gmelich, Oscar Riesebeek (Metec-TKH), Vergard Bugge, Adriaan Aas Stien (Joker), August Jensen, Oscar Landa (Oster Hus-Ridley) and Ariaan Janssen (Development Giant-Shimano) and after 20km of racing, they were already 2.15 ahead. Ludovic Robeet (Color Code) and Jonas Tenbrock (Stölting) made an ill-fated attempt to bridge across.


Topsport Vlaanderen had missed the move and they started to chase. At the 30km mark, they had brought it back to 1.30. However, they started to lose the battle and with 150km to go, they were 3.15 behind.


For a long time, Topsport Vlaanderen kept the gap stable around the 3-minute mark while Brambilla fought his way back from a mechanical. As they got some assistance from Verandas Willems, they started to get back in contention and when they started the 8 local laps, they were only 2.09 behind.


Landa was the first to get dropped from the front group and at the end of the first lap, De Bie launched the first attack. The Belgian was brought back but with 80km to go, he tried again, getting clear with Wilson.


The duo got a 6-second advantage before being brought back. At this point, Jensen had punctured out of the lead group but he managed to rejoin them after a hard chase.


After two laps of the circuit, the gap was still 2.35. After another lap, Bertholet became the next rider to get dropped.


The gap had now come down to 1.30 and when Cools was dropped from the front group, they were only 55 seconds ahead. Wanty had now taken over the pace-setting as they tried to set Leukemans op for another win.


At the end of the fourth lap, Sweeck launched an attack but he was quickly brought back. Thomas Degand (Wanty) had now brought the gap down to just 30 seconds and this prompted Poutsman and Gmelich to attack.


The pair managed to build an advantage of 8 seconds before Gmelish left Putsma behind. With 25km to go, however, everything came back together.


Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Belisol) launched the next attack while Reidar Borgersen (Joker) took off in pursuit. Two riders joined them and later Bjorn Leukemans and Jerome Baugnies (both Wanty) also made the junction.


More riders bridged the gap and when the dust had settled Dennis Vanendert (Lotto Belisol), Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Belisol), Bram Tankink (Belkin), Dennis Van Winden (Belkin), Thomas Sprengers (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Baugnies, Michel Kreder, Leukemans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Alexander Krieger, Ralf Matzka, Daniel Schorn (Team Net-App), Tim Van Speybroeck (Team 3M), Oscar Riesebeeck (Metec), Borgersen (Team Joker) and Huub Duijn (Cyclingteam De Rijke) formed the front group. Borgersen was the first rider to get dropped and with 14km to go, it was back together.


With 11km to go, Leukemans tried again and he managed to build an advantage of 10 seconds, Vanendert, Vangenechten, Maarten Wynanys (Belkin), Schorn, Jelle Wallays (Topsport) and Tom Van Asbroeck (Topsport) joined him and they fought hard to keep a 10-second advantage.


With 3km to go, the group was brought back but suddenly 10 riders had slipped off the front. Oliver Naesen (Lotto), Vanendert, Vangechten, Tankink, Jasper De Buyst (Topsport), Van Asbroeck, Leukemans, Baugnies, Degand and Schorn made up the group and they managed to hold off the peloton before Vangenechten won the sprint.


The series of Belgian autumn classics continues on September when the 94th Brussels Cycling Classic is the biggest race in Belgium in the last few months of the season.



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