Sean de Bie sprinted to an outstanding fifth place in the cycling classic Eschborn-Frankfurt (1. UWT). The Belgian rides his STEVENS Xenon to another top placing for the Pro Continental squad Vérandas Willems-Crelan in a single-day race of the UCI World Tour (UWT) after Flêche Brabanconne, Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. Team manager Michiel Elijzen concludes: ”We hardly could have done any better.”
Early in the race it was David Tanner to join the decisive break-away group. With another six riders he was able to gain a three and a half minute advantage over the peloton along the hilly course. Since this season the race Eschborn-Frankfurt (formerly Around the Henninger-Turm) is part of the UCI World Tour (UWT) and because of that the course through the Taunus hills featured a more selective layout with more climbing. After the Feldberg climb the riders had to tackle the Ruppertshain ascent three times, the ”Mammolshain Peak” (including a 23% steep section) four times and the Billtalhöhe twice.
The break-away group’s advantage was cut in half when Emanuel Buchmann of team Bora-Hansgrohe attacked from the peloton at about 100km to go. The chase group which then established included many strong riders who collaborated well to diminish that advantage even more. In the finale all escapees had been caught, yet the peloton had shrunk to only 40 riders. Two Willems-Crelan riders, Huub Duijn and Sean de Bie were part of that group. About two kilometres before the finish De Bie jumped to the front. The rouleur, who already had won a stage of the Étoile de Bessèges only had to defer to the top sprinters. Alexander Kristoff won for the fourth time in a row, ahead of Michael Matthews, Oliver Naesen und Andrea Pasqualon.
This means another top result for the team that now will take part in the stage race ”4 Jours de Dunkerque / Grand Prix des Hauts de France” (2.HC). The line-up for Eschborn-Frankfurt consisted of Sean de Bie, Huub Duijn, Arjen Livyns, David Tanner, Dries De Bondt, Zico Waeytens and Stijn Steels.