Race report

Tiesj Benoot races to 10th at Antwerp Port Epic

Antwerp Port Epic

After a long day of chasing, Tiesj Benoot eventually finished the Antwerp Port Epic in 10th place, first over the line for Team DSM with teammates Casper Van Uden and Tobias Lund Andresen close behind also finishing 14th and 16th respectively.

The race featured gravel or cobblestone roads for over a third of the parcours presenting a tough and technical day out. Lund Andresen got clear early on in one of the many moves off the front before a counter attack joined including Van Uden making a strong group of 13 riders at the head of affairs by the mid-way point of the race. This would be the break that eventually produced the race winner.

The peloton was quickly losing ground behind and so Benoot reacted, going clear with four others in pursuit of the leaders. He got to within 30 seconds but wasn’t able to bridge the gap, even when joined by Van Uden who lost contact with the front group following a mechanical over one of the gravel sections.

Up front the attacks started to fly in the final 25 kilometres over the last of the cobblestone and gravel roads with two riders going clear and the group behind splitting with Lund Andresen finding himself distanced. It was a pursuit for what places the guys could salvage from hereon in after a tough day out.

Benoot said after the finish: “I think today we did a good job by staying near the front with four or five guys on the first gravels sections. Then on the longer part of road between I was too calm and the group went away without really going full gas. It was good to have Tobias and Casper in there and I came really close to catching them with a few guys but we weren’t fast enough. We caught Casper after some bad luck and then Tobias too. It was a shame that I made the mistake as I had good legs today. But overall it was good work by the guys positioning us and I think with a young team we showed that we were there today.”

Team DSM coach Bennie Lambregts added: “In general the guys did a really good job. Early on we had Tobias in the break and after that Casper got up to the front with three others. Tiesj started too late and he said himself that it was a mistake. The most important thing in this mix today with the young riders we had around Tiesj is they stuck to the plan and after 55km came to the front together when we hit the first cobblestones section and the race really started. This was great and from here on you needed to have a bit of luck too.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 VAN DER POEL Mathieu Alpecin-Fenix 4:12:03 125
2 VAN DER HOORN Taco Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux 0:01 85
3 MERLIER Tim Alpecin-Fenix 1:14 70
10 BENOOT Tiesj Team DSM 1:30 20
14 VAN UDEN Casper Team DSM 2:50 5
32 STOKKE Vegard Team DSM 5:34 -
34 MÄRKL Niklas Team DSM ,, -
57 VERMAERKE Kevin Team DSM 7:13 -
1005 SALMON Martin Team DSM -04:12:03 -