Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) won the first edition of the Brussels Cycling Classic on Saturday, out-kicking John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) and Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) Saturday at the foot of the Atomium in Brussels.
Greipel had been regarded as a big favorite and met the expectations, taking his 12th victory of the season.
“I think nobody else deserved the win this Saturday as our team managed the race throughout the day,” he said.
Griepel’s Lotto team kept a tight leash on the bunch, holding the breakaways in check, but the effort left Greipel alone in the last 5 kilometers. He then marked FDJ and Argos as they ended a last-ditch attack by Lars Boom (Belkin), and launched his sprint from a long ways out.
“I went far, 350 meters from the line,” he said. “It was risky because John [Degenkolb] could catch my draft. But I’m so over second lately that I really wanted to win this.”
The Brussels Cycling Classic is the new name for the classic formerly known as Paris-Brussels. The race has been shortened to 200km from 225km, and was raced entirely in Belgium.