Sonny Colbrelli from BAHRAIN MERIDA won Brabantse Pijl in style!
Overijse, 12th April – “What a win! I’m really happy for myself and my team,” was the first comment of today’s 197 km long stage winner Sonny Colbrelli, after a fabulous sprint in the finish of Brabantse Pijl race. But he couldn’t have done it without the help of his teammates that carried out excellent work throughout the whole race.
The 57th edition of Brabantse Pijl race was the final one of this season’s Flanders Classics. A race with 20 hills and a race with a character is how the locals call it.
After the presentation of teams in Overijese the race started in good conditions -partially cloudy sky and 20km/h SW wind and dry roads. BAHRAIN MERIDA riders started the race highly motivated, with Sonny Colbrelli as their first leader and Enrico Gasparotto as the second. All of them were aware of their role and importance of helping the leaders to achieve a good result. Just a few kilometers after the start a group of 6 riders went in a breakaway and held an approximate gap of 3 minutes along the way. But after 120 km the breakaway was caught and the BAHRAIN MERIDA riders took all in their hands.
Enrico Gasparotto, Grega Bole and Sonny Colbrelli with continuous support from Ivan Garcia, Luka Pibernik and Meiyin Wang, gave their best for the big victory of Sonny Colbrelli. At 3 laps to finish, each 20 km long, Grega Bole took over the new breakaway group of 10 riders and Sonny Colbrelli was just behind him. Enrico Gasparotto was at the front of the peloton with support of Luka Pibernik, Ivan Garcia and Meiyin Wang. Each member of BAHRAIN MERIDA Team was very aware and energetic. Bole and Gasparotto kept eyes on Gilbert and finally at the last few hundred meters to the finish, Sonny showed his great strength, style and class in a fabulous sprint. He took second stage victory this season and repaid all the hard work for every member of the BAHRAIN MERIDA team.
“I wanted to win so much after such an aggressive race. I was nervous during the race because I did not want the peloton to caught us and in the sprint I was worried that I’d lost it because Vakoc squeezed me into the barriers, but finally I found the space and managed to win. I’m building confidence from this kind of races. Last year I was close to win and this time I succeeded. Year by year I’m growing. My aim was to do well today and then on Sunday on Amstel Gold Race. Let’s see, how it will go,” said Sonny after the race, his mind already on the next challenge.
Grega Bole commented, after giving great support to Sonny: “It was an amazing day. We as a team did a great job for Sonny. The most important is that Sonny won after the great job of the team. Each rider knew what he had to do and we succeeded.”
Enrico Gasparotto added: ”Today it was a team victory because we all performed great. During the race we decided to play differently – Sonny was in the breakaway where normally I would be and I waited in the bunch with Mathew. That was the key for our success. Different races are ahead of us, longer, even harder, but we are here to play our cards.”
Tristan Hoffman, sports director couldn’t hide his joy and optimism after the race: “I am happy with the performance of the team and everyone else – the staff, mechanics, masseurs. Sonny did a fantastic sprint, he showed he was the best among all the teams. Other riders did a fantastic job and I am really happy for them.”
(All pictures attached can be used for editorial and non commercial usages only and are copyright protected – © Team Bahrain-Merida/ @BettiniPhoto)