If you love your racing wet, filthy and cobbled then we guarantee you’ll adore these races.
GP Le Samyn: Quaregnon to Dour, 202.2km
So often we bandy about the terms hard men and brutal when we talk of those riders and races in the Belgian spring campaign. Never were they more apt than for Le Samyn: just watch the agonising, slow motion sprint between Guillaume Van Kiersbulck (Wanty – Groupe Gobert) and Alex Kirsch (WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect). Out on their own with never more than 20secs on the remnants of chasing peloton, the two traded attacks all the way to the line. Kirsch attacked out of the gloom one last time with the finish line in sight, but Van Kiersbulck would not be denied and summoned one last burst to get past him. Iljo Keisse (Quick Step Floors) was quickest of the 5-man chase group to round out the podium.
Highlights. The final 5km are nail biting, but don’t miss the full coverage if you have the time.
Of the 198 riders who took the start 52 crossed the finish line – chapeau to every single one of them…
GP Le Samyn is the first round of the Napoleon Games Cup – for which the leader gets to wear a very natty hat on the podium…
Full report at Cycling News.
Le Samyn des Dames: Quaregnon to Dour 100.5km
Spain may not have produced many winning classics riders but they have one now. Sheyla Gutiérrez of Cylance Pro Cycling made the decisive split with two laps of the finishing circuit (8 cobbled sections) to go, and did not turn a pedal wrong for the rest of the race. The Spainard got the better of the two up sprint against Amy Pieters (Boels-Dolmans) with Canyon SRAM’s Tiffany Cromwell in third.
The race in image…
Header image: The agony and the ecstasy © ©Tim De WaeleMVH/Tim De Waele/Corbis via Getty Images