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Brussels Cycling Classic. Trainee Jonas Gregaard shows it in the breakaway, unlucky day for other Astana riders

In Brussels, the young trainee Jonas Gregaard showed himself in his second race for Astana Pro Team, by making it in the day’s breakaway. At the end, it all came down to a bunch sprint, with Pascal Ackermann taking the win. It was a hard day on the road because of multiple crashes with three riders of Astana involved: Riccardo Minali, Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev and Yevgeniy Gidich, who went to the hospital for a medical check. But they don’t have major injuries and will start tomorrow at GP de Fourmies.

- It was a hard day for the team, as we had three of our riders involved in multiple crashes, with Yevgeniy Gidich who had to abandon and Riccardo Minali who crashed a second time in the final, so he couldn’t play a role in the sprint. But that’s how it is sometimes, too bad we didn’t play a role in today’s bunch sprint. A good thing about today is the youngster Jonas Gregaard, who showed himself at the front of the race. Now the guys will need to recover from today, because we have another race coming up tomorrow. I hope we’ll manage to get a good position for the sprint tomorrow, so we can fight for a good result.  – sport director Lars Michaelsen.


The profile of the 201 kilometer of the Brussels Cycling Classic, starting and finishing in Brussels, didn’t look too easy, but at the end it still came down to a bunch sprint. But before the best sprinters of the day could test their legs, it was up to a breakaway of six riders, including the Astana Pro Team trainee Jonas Gregaard. He was able to ride with this group to today’s final, riding over a 170 kilometer at the front of the race. But in the final the break was caught, and after several attacks that didn’t surprise the sprint teams, it was Pascal Ackermann crossing the finish line first.

The Astana Pro Team riders were unlucky today, with Riccardo Minali, Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev and Yevgeniy Gidich involved in multiple crashes. Gidich had to abandon the race, but luckily several scans in the hospital showed that there were no fractures. Minali crashed a second time with 10 kilometer to go, and was not able to do any work in the sprint. And with Magnus Cort sitting behind a crash in the final kilometer, it was not possible to go for a top result today. Tomorrow, the same team will ride GP de Fourmies, hopefully enough recovered to battle for a better result than today.

Photo credit: Bettiniphoto

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