Juul Jensen leads from the front to take sixth at De Brabantse Pijl

Wed 12 Apr 2017

Danish strong man Chris Juul Jensen picked up where he left off for ORICA-SCOTT today, claiming a strong sixth place at the 57th De Brabantse Pijl.

An early breakaway of five riders skipped clear out of the neutral zone and held on until well into the second half of the race before being swallowed up by an elite group of thirteen that included Juul Jensen.

The group worked well together and held an advantage of around 30seconds throughout the closing 50kilometres. The race included twenty-six sharp climbs and the combination of fast descents and collaboration on the flats saw the leaders maintaining a slim gap into the finale.

Juul Jensen looked strong and lead the group over the final climb as late attacks started to come from the chasing bunch, pushing a huge gear the 27-year-old Dane fought hard as the sprint unfolded with Sonny Colbelli (Bahrain-Merida) taking the win.

“It was a really strong ride from Chris today,” said sport director Laurenzo Lapage. “After a getting a knock in De Panne a couple of weeks ago he has come back very strong and hungry to perform.”

“The team rode very well and we had an excellent situation for the final part of the race with Chris up ahead then Daryl Impey and Simon Gerrans just behind in the next group. This gave us cards to play and I’m happy with the result and the teamwork from the guys today.”

“We were up against a very strong and competitive field in what was a really hectic race. The quick succession of the climbs make positioning crucial and it’s very easy to lose energy in the chase, but fortunately we played it well today and we didn’t find ourselves in a position where we needed to bring the race back together.

“It’s really good to continue our strong form that we have been showing throughout the season so far and we are looking forward to the Ardennes next week.”

How it happened:

Spring sunshine welcomed the riders to the start in Leuven this morning, with five riders deciding to animate the early part of the race by going clear to form the days first breakaway.

After 40kilometres had been covered the quintet had over six minutes advantage on the peloton, a lead that only started to slip after the halfway point, falling to less than three minutes with 90kilometres to go.

With 50kilometres remaining only 20seconds separated the field with fresh attacks starting to form at the front of the strung out peloton.

ORICA-SCOTT had Juul Jensen marshalling these moves and the 27-year-old Dane was part of the next group to jump and absorb the earlier breakaway.

Into the last 40kilometres and the race had split into four or five groups with thirteen leaders that included Juul Jensen, holding a slim advantage over the first chasers.

The race intensified on the final lap with the Juul Jensen group down to eight riders holding a 25second advantage over the heavily reduced peloton and only ten kilometres left to race.

Attacks from the chasing bunch started to spring as the race hit the final few kilometres with Juul Jensen leading the frontrunners onto the final climb.

After pushing hard into the finishing straight the Dane continued to fight and took a strong sixth place behind Colbrelli with the Italian taking the win from a late sprint.

De Brabantse Pijl results:

1. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) 04:44:22

2. Petr Vakoc (Quick-Step-Floors) ST

3. Tiej Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) ST

6. Chris Juul Jensen (ORICA-SCOTT) ST

Photos courtesy of ©