Philippe Gilbert takes De Brabantse Pijl

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) took the victory in a tight sprint to win the 203-kilometer De Brabantse Pijl in Overijse, Belgium.

Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE) was a close second with Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Belisol) taking third.

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The day’s early breakaway was overhauled by a group of six – Nathan Haas, Pieter Serry, Mathias Brändle, Björn Leukemans, Mauro Finetto, and Simon Gerrans – with just over 40 kilometres remaining.

Although the move gained a lead of almost a minute, the peloton didn’t let them have more than that and reeled them in with eight kilometres remaining.

A series of attacks that shattered the peloton in the final kilometers with Wout Poels nearly staying clear on the final climb before Gilbert hit the front to lead out the final sprint and fend off Matthews to take victory just days ahead of the Amstel Gold Race.

“I had a good sprint to the finish, but Gilbert was just quicker today,” said Matthews. “The sprint sort of worked out. My plan was to lay off and then come off the wheels at 50 metres to go. But I didn’t quite have the legs to finish it off. It was a clean sprint, he clearly beat me.”

This is Gilbert’s second victory at De Brabantse Pijl, the first being in 2011 when he had a standout season winning 18 races, more than any other cyclist in the professional peloton.

1. be
GILBERT Philippe
BMC Racing Team
04:54:26
2. au
MATTHEWS Michael
Orica GreenEDGE
-
3. fr
GALLOPIN Tony
Lotto Belisol
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Boonen’s Ferrari gets new paint job

In tabloid news of the day, Het Nieuwsblad reports that Tom Boonen’s Ferrari F430 just got a new paint job, complete with horses and dolphins.

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A rough translation of the story goes something like this:

“In a runaway joke, painter Jeroom describes his latest project: With Tom Boonen’s permission he painted his bright red Ferrari F430 however Jeroom wished. The result is a turquoise sportscar which included an image of a Flemish horse and the face of Boonen himself, amid some dolphins. “If you do that, you might as well get it right. In the garage, they already call it the ugliest car they’ve ever seen”, laughs Jeroom.

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Boonen was not involved in the development. “He could laugh. But best, because he has to drive around with it for a year. Fortunately for him, he rarely goes with that Ferrari on public roads”, says Jeroom.

Why do cyclists ride in the middle of the road?

In a piece featured in motoring.co.uk, cycling advocate Carlton Reid asks “Why do cyclists ride in the middle of the road? Because they’re allowed to”, he explains. Now this doesn’t mean much to us cyclists and we assume it’s obvious to all of you, (well, I hope it is), but the good thing about Reid’s piece is that it’s not preaching to the converted and is featured in one of the UK’s popular motoring publications.

Read more here.

Texting P-plate driver hits cyclist: ‘I just don’t care’

A P-plate driver who used her mobile phone behind the wheel 44 times before running down a cyclist near the town of Koroit, Victoria has been fined $4500 and lost her licence for nine months.

“I just don’t care because I’ve already been through a lot of bullshit and my car is like pretty expensive and now I have to fix it,” the 21 year old driver told police when she was questioned about a collision that resulted in a cyclist suffering severe injuries including a fractured spine which required surgery, a broken big toe and lacerations to his head and body. The victum was treated at Melbourne’s Austin Hospital.

“I’m kind of pissed off that the cyclist has hit the side of my car. I don’t agree that people texting and driving could hit a cyclist. I wasn’t on my phone when I hit the cyclist.”

Kimberley Davis of Port Fairy pleaded guilty yesterday in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to dangerous driving.

Read more at The Age.

Today’s feature photo was taken yesterday by Belgian photographer Kristof Ramon at the start of Brabantse Pijl as the peloton passes in front of the famous gothic Leuven City Hall.