Van Empel also strongest in Boom
Fem van Empel has won the fifth race of the Superprestige classification. In Boo...
Wout van Aert impressed with his second place in the E3 Binckbank Classic. During a sprint with five riders, the leader of Team Jumbo-Visma was only outsprinted by Zdenek Stybar. For Van Aert it is his second podium place this year, after finishing third in Strade Bianche. Last week he was sixth in Milan-Sanremo.
The E3 Binckbank Classic remained locked until the peloton hit the climbs. After attacks by, among others, Danny van Poppel, Mike Teunissen and Amund Jansen were neutralised, Bob Jungels attacked. The winner of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne got a lead of more than one minute before the favourites launched their attacks on the Paterberg and the Oude Kwaremont.
Van Aert proved to be very strong and broke clear, while being accompanied by Greg van Avermaet, Zdenek Stybar and Alberto Bettiol. The four caught Jungels in the last seven kilometres, after which a sprint was unavoidable. Stybar benefited from the fact that he did not put in any efforts in the pursuit of his teammate.
“The E3 is one of the most difficult races of the spring. I certainly felt it in my legs. This race is just a bit more difficult than the previous classics. I am happy that I was able to ride a final again”, Van Aert said. “I certainly thought about winning. But after such a difficult race it is always an atypical sprint. I felt really good and in the final kilometres I mainly focused on Stybar’s attacks that you knew were coming. It was the best tactic to be in his wheel straight away. Though it was far from easy. It also took quite a long time before we could bridge over to Jungels. That cost us a lot of energy."
Van Aert was impressed by his strong team today. “After the first selection, we were still well-represented in the front. Van Poppel, Teunissen and Jansen did a very good job. It’s a pity that Amund just wasn’t able to join Jungels when he attacked. When Van Avermaet accelerated on the Paterberg, I did not hesitate for a moment to join him. When he goes, the only option is to join. And I managed.”