After leaving departure place Leuven the riders are zigzagging Flemish Brabant and Walloon Brabant at random and it’s only after 9.2 kilometres in the saddle the first hill looms. The climb up Smeysberg accounts for 800 metres at 8%.
The tone is set. Hills in the Brabantse Pijl are never inhumanly steep, yet the ceaseless succession of uphill sectors turns the race into an onslaught. Within a 75 kilometres frame the next ten hills are served before the riders hit the closing circuit.
With 126.9 kilometres done the first passage of the finish line is a fact. Three laps of 23.4 kilometres each remain. With the bell still ringing in their ears the riders go straight up at Hagaard and 3 kilometres after cresting they are at the top of Hertstraat. That’s another tone set, the one of the criterium. Via Holstheide and IJskelderlaan the local circuit concludes with Schavei. That’s five hills in 23.4 kilometres, the peaks are at most 6 kilometres apart.
In the last 10.3 kilometres the finale includes Holstheide, IJskelderlaan and Schavei. So that’s a 1,000 metres climb at 5% and a 400 metres climb at 8% leading to a flat 3.4 kilometres section taking the riders to the foot of the Schavei. That last climb equals 700 metres at 6.2%, while the finish is 200 metres after cresting.
Results/race report Brabantse Pijl 2017.
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