World Team | Heistse Pijl & Brussels CC
31 May 2024

Hills & cobbles in Belgium

The weekend’s two Belgian races have more or less the same ingredients: hills and cobbles. Sprinters and classics riders will find plenty of scope for expression.


Photo : Getty Images

Lucas Janssen

‘The Heistse Pijl is a flat race overall. The strategic point is the entry onto the final circuit, which is made up of a sequence of main roads, then minor roads with a cobbled sector on the way up. You really have to be in position at this point and that makes everyone nervous before entering this sector. Once on this cobbled section, you generally stay where you were when you entered the cobbles. Twenty kilometres from this strategic point, the peloton is already tense and nervous. Before that, it was fairly calm, but then all of a sudden everything went into overdrive’.

Matîs Louvel

‘These are two one-day races in Belgium, so it’s going to be nervous. There’s going to be a lot of friction. The Heistse Pijl is flat for the most part, except for the finish with a small, narrow, explosive cobble bump. Placement will be crucial, with a sequence of long, narrow roads, a short descent to follow and the finish. The position you occupy at the foot of the final climb is virtually the same as the position you have in the sprint to the finish. So positioning is everything. The Brussels Cycling Classic is a great semi-classic and every year the organisers add climbs to the course. That’s the case again this season. I’ve ridden this race before and got some good results. Now I feel that I’m getting back into the swing of things in the peloton and I’m feeling better. I know I need to race after a truncated start to the season due to health problems. And these two races will enable me to continue to raise my level’.

Roger Tréhin, sports director

‘The Heistse Pijl and the Brussels Cycling Classic are two Belgian semi-classics in which we’ll be fielding a team made up of both classics riders and sprinters, with Amaury Capiot and fast riders like Dan McLay and Miles Scotson, both of whom are coming off a high altitude course in Sierra Nevada. We’ll have a number of possible strategies for these two races, from sprinting to movement racing. Placement and running as a team will also be the key to success in these two ‘discovery races’ for our young riders from the ARKEA-B&B HOTELS Développement team, Lucas Janssen and Giosuè Epis’.


Lucas Janssen
Matîs Louvel