After leaving departure place Leuven the riders ride a local loop of 5.9 kilometres before they start a zigzag journey through Flemish Brabant and Walloon Brabant. Hills are are never inhumanly steep, yet the ceaseless succession of uphill sectors turns the race into an onslaught.
At kilometre 131.8 the first passage of the finish line is a fact and three 23.4 kilometres laps 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. The tone is set. 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.
As Brabantse Pijl ends with three laps the riders have ample time to take in the finale. The trio Holstheide, IJskelderlaan and Schavei is clustered in the last 10.3 kilometres. So firstly Holstheide, which is a 1,000 metres climb at 5%. On then to IJskelderlaan – 400 metres at 8% – before a flat section of 3.4 kilometres runs to the foot of the Schavei. The last climb is 700 metres and averaging 6.2%, while the finish is 200 metres after cresting.
Last year, Tim Wellens and Petr Vakoc tracked down a front group with Tiesj Benoot, Chris Juul-Jensen and Sonny Colbrelli on Schavei. Nevertheless, in the ensuing sprint the Italian powered to the win, comfortably ahead of Vakoc and Benoot.
Read also: results/race report 2018 Brabantse Pijl.
Brabantse Pijl 2018: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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3D bird’s eye route
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Streetview finish at Ijskelderlaan