Our first appointment of the month will see us race on home turf this weekend, at the 192.8km one-day race.

Cavendish third in Heistse Pijl

One week after arriving in Verona with the rest of his Wolfpack teammates and wrapping up the Giro d’Italia, Mark Cavendish was again on the start line for the 52nd edition of Heistse Pijl. Held over a 192.8km course between Vosselaar and Heist-op-den-Berg, the race was billed as a perfect opportunity for the sprinters to fight for victory, despite the presence of a 400m hill averaging 4.9% just one kilometer from the line.

Animated by a six-man group that rode away and built a five-minute maximum advantage soon after the neutral zone was left behind, the day was controlled by the numerous sprinters’ teams, including Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, whose joined efforts were rewarded inside the last ten kilometers, when the last of the escapees. The finale wasn’t that straightforward, a series of crashes splitting the field and taking many of the fast men out of contention before the flamme rouge.

Mark Cavendish was among those hit by bad luck, not because of a crash, but instead due to a mechanical, as his chain came off at the worst moment. This ended up costing the Manxman several positions in the bunch and valuable energy, but even in these conditions the Giro d’Italia stage winner showed his class and fast legs, taking third place behind Arnaud De Lie (Lotto-Soudal) for his ninth podium of the season.

“I’m a bit disappointed after the amazing work the guys did the whole day. On the descent my chain came off and I tried to get it back on, but I lost a couple of positions there and knew it was going to be difficult. Despite that, I tried and did my best in the sprint, but it’s just a shame given the form and positioning I had before that problem”, Cavendish said after the race.

 

Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images

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