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Having attacked from a 19-rider group, Baugnies soloed to his second consecutive win in the Druivenkoers Overijse; Duijn beat Marcato and Claeys in the sprint for second in a race that had three Wanty riders in the top 4

Photo: ©Kramon

CIRCUS-WANTY GOBERT

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DRUIVENKOERS – OVERIJSE

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HUUB DUIJN

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JEROME BAUGNIES

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MARCO MARCATO

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24.08.2016 @ 18:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

One year after taking a first win in the race, Jerome Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) made it two in a row at the Druivenkoers Overijse when he soloed to victory in the Belgian semi-classic. The puncheur attacked from a 19-rider group on the hilly circuit and held off the late comeback from a chase trio to take the win before Huub Duijn (Roompot) beat the Wanty pair of Marco Marcato and Dimitri Claeys in the sprint for second.

 

With four consecutive wins from 2010 to 2013, Bjorn Leukemans was the dominant figure in the Belgian semi-classic Druivenkoers Overijse a few years ago. The veteran has now retired but now it seems that one of his former teammates has taken over the status as the king of the Belgian race.

 

Last year Jerome Baugnies took a slightly controversial win in the hilly race in Overijse when he arrived at the finish together with teammate Marco Marcato. The Italian believed that he was allowed to take the win but it was the Belgian who crossed the line first.

 

This year there were no such issues when Baugnies defended his title and again he completed a fantastic performance from the Wanty team that also had Marcato on the podium for the second year in a row. Having shown great form since he a smaller Belgian race in the end of June, Baugnies proved that he was the strongest rider in the race as he attacked from a 19-rider group and soloed to victory. Marcato and Dimitri Claeys covered moves behind and ended as third and fourth behind Huub Duijn, thus making it a marvelous day for Wanty.

 

The 56th edition of the Druivenkoers Overijse was held on a very traditional 196.4km course with start and finish in Overijse. Like most other Belgian semi-classics, it was a circuit race made up of multiple circuits. First the riders did three laps of a big 31km circuit that included the climbs of Terspautlosweg, Groeneweg, Waversesteenweg, Abstraat, and Bergstraat. This was followed by eight laps of a 13km circuit with the Jean Tombeurstraat and the 700m Schavei climbing at an average of 6% that is also part of the Brabantse Pijl spring classic. From the top of the climb, there were just over 2 km to go to the finish and they could be split into one kilometre of descending and one kilometre of flat road. Furthermore, it was a pretty technical finale with two sharp and one sweeping bend inside the final kilometre before the riders got to the 500m finishing straight.

 

Like yesterday, the riders had very hot conditions when they gathered for the start and just as it was the case in Zottegem, it was a brutally tough beginning. Already after 7km of attacking, there were splits in the peloton and a 2-5rider group got clear. However, things soon came back together.

 

Daniel Patten (Wiggins) was very active and with his second attack after 11km of racing, he managed to get an advantage of 15 seconds. He dug deep in an attempt to maintain that cap bu at the 20km mark, it was all back together,

 

23km had been covered when Piotr Havik (Team 3M), Erick Rowsell (Madison Genesis) Jordy Van Loon (Metec-TKH Continental Team), Thomas Koep (Stölting Service Group) and Jarno Gmelich Meijling (Metec-TKH p / b Mantel) managed to get clear and as the peloton slowed down, the gap soon went out to 50 seconds. After one hour of racing, they had pushed it out to 1.37.

 

Benjamin Verraes (Cibel) became the first rider to leave the race while the peloton controlled the situation, keeping the gap stable at 1.30. They finally slowed down a bit and so the gap had gone out to 3.05 when they entered the final 130km.

 

The gap stayed around 3 minutes before the peloton suddenly accelerated hard, bringing it down to 1.27 as they approached the first passage of the line. That prompted the escapees to attack each other and at the finish line, Havik, Rowsell and Gmelich led Van Loon and Koep by 26 seconds while the peloton was at 1.50.

 

The peloton caught Van Loon and Koep and instead Alex Kirsch (Stölting) and Bjorn Tore Hoem (Joker) attacked. During the first lap, they bridged the gap to the leaders and the quintet had pushd the advantage out to 2.14 as they hit the final 90km.

 

Lotto Soudal took responsibility for the chase with stagiaire James Shaw and he had brought the gap down to 1.30 at the end of the second lap. Wanty-Groupe Gobert also lend a hand and when the gap had dropped to a minute, the escapees had to react. Havik and Gmelich were dropped on the Schavei and with five laps to go, it was Rowsell, Hoem and Kirsch leading Havik by 36 seconds, Gmelich by 50 seconds and the peloton by 1.24.

 

Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty) took some huge turns in the peloton while Kirsch became the next rider to get dropped from the front group, leaving just Hoem and Rowsell to press on. However, they were only 30 seconds ahead at the end of the fourth lap.

 

Impressively, they managed to push the gap out to 1.00 with 40km to go before Truls Korsaeth (Joker) and Mark Christian (Wiggins) joined them. However, the peloton was now exploding to pieces and suddenly a 15-rider group with Kevin Ista (Wallonie-Bruxelles), Marco Marcato, Jérôme Baugnies, Dimitri Claeys (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Jurgen Roelandts, Jelle Vanendert (Lotto-Soudal), Baptiste Planckaert (Wallonie-Bruxelles), Sven Reutter (Team Stolting Group) Joachim Van Reyten (Crelan-Vastgoedservice), Nuno Bico (Klein Constantia), Huub Duyn, Etienne Van Empel (Roompot Oranje Platoon), Lukas Postlberger (Bora Argon 18), Axel Flet (Veranclassic-AGO) had been formed.

 

Things came back together again before 19 riders surged clear and that group exploded on the Schavei. Claeys, Floris De Tier (Topsport Vlaanderen) and Duyn took off while Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Soudal) did the work in the chase group.

 

At the start of the penultimate lap, the front trio were 3.50 ahead of the peloton and it was evident that the winner would be one of the 19 attackers. However, they were just around 5 seconds ahead of the chasers that were getting closer as they entered the final 20km.

 

The 19-rider group came back together and instead Baugnies made his move. Korsaeth joined him and when they had opened a 10-second gap, the Belgian dropped the Norwegian.

 

At the start of the final lap, Baugnies still had a lead of 10 seconds and impressively he managed to push it out to 28 seconds after the first climb on the circuit. With 4km to go, he had 40 seconds and it was 45 seconds just one kilometre later.

 

Baugnies knew that no one could stop him and he had plenty of time to celebrate his solo win. However, there were lots of attack in the chase group and when Duijn, Marcato and Claeys escaped on the Schavei, they approached. However, they ran out of metres and Baugnies reached the finish with a 5-second advantage over his chasers. Duijn beat Marcato in the sprint while Claeys made it three Wanty riders in the top 4.

 

With Druivenkoers Overijse done and dusted, there’s still one Belgian semi-classic left in this very busy week. On Sunday, the riders will tackle the gravel roads in the Schaal Sels.

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