Our team was prominent at one of the final one-day races of the year.
The 33rd edition of Binche-Chimay-Binche got underway Tuesday under grey clouds, with early rain adding to the day’s difficulties. Deceuninck – Quick-Step – who made its final appearance of the season in Belgium – was in control of the race since the beginning, keeping the gap of the escapees at all times in check and even going on the offensive several times as our riders tried to fragment the field.
A strong forcing of Czech ITT Champion Josef Cerny did just that, leaving only 50-odd riders in the main group, but the action didn’t stop there, as more and more riders put in a couple of searing accelerations before the local circuit, the main result of these skirmishes being that the breakaway was brought back.
The Wolfpack took over the reins at the head of the peloton again in the closing kilometers, trying to set up Mark Cavendish for the slightly uphill finish in Binche, which was spiced up by some cobbles. But a late attack launched by Danny van Poppel (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) in a tricky corner at 700 meters to go saw the Dutchman open a small gap which he then carried all the way to the line. Cavendish came home a few seconds behind the winner and finished the day as Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s best-placed rider, two days after taking the victory at the Münsterland Giro.
Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen / Getty Images