ProTeam Pascal Eenkhoorn second in Bourg-en-Bresse after breakaway with also Campenaerts stays ahead

"I think we executed our plan to perfection but a second place always tastes sour."
Race 20 July 2023

Pascal Eenkhoorn has finished runner-up in Bourg-en-Bresse, at the end of the Tour de France stage eighteen. What was announced as a chance for the sprinters, eventually turned into a real thriller, in which the breakaway narrowly held off the charging peloton. In that thriller, it was Lotto Dstny in the leading role with both Victor Campenaerts and Pascal Eenkhoorn in the four-rider breakaway.

Soon after the flag dropped, three riders attacked. Victor Campenaerts, Jonas Abrahamsen and Kasper Asgreen formed a strong trio but the peloton was keen on a bunch sprint and kept them on a tight leash. At just over 50 kilometres to go, it was Lotto Dstny rider Pascal Eenkhoorn who, with the help of his teammate Campenaerts, bridged to the head of the race. The advantage of the four escapees almost never went above a minute but the peloton had to use up all its resources to come closer. In a nail-biting final, it was a matter of seconds but with an impressive pull of Campenaerts in the final, the breakaway stayed ahead. It was Asgreen who showed the fastest, Pascal Eenkhoorn had to settle for second. Abrahamsen finished third, Campenaerts was still caught by the bunch.

“I think we executed our plan to perfection”, says Pascal Eenkhoorn. “I hoped that more riders would join me in bridging across but nobody was on my wheel. I also needed Victor to get to the front but once we got there, we went full gas. The advantage was never really big but at the end of the Tour you know there’s always a chance. Victor really rode crazy fast and ensured that we could stay ahead in the final. The sprint was just an honest one and a second place is a pity but if you watch the sprint you have to admit that Asgreen was stronger.”

“We had marked these stages. Sadly, we could just not get the win but we played it perfectly. It seemed like an impossible task to hold off the bunch but if you don’t try… The most combative rider award is a consolation prize but being on the Tour podium is always nice”, says Campenaerts. “I got to the front in the final kilometre but had to let go at 500 metres from the line, hoping to make them nervous and go early. That didn’t succeed and a second place is bittersweet but we can be proud of our performance today.”

Images: Photo News.

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