Thimo Willems took his first victory of the season last Sunday. In warm conditions Thimo won before Lennert van Eetvelt and Vince Gerits. A surprising attack in the last kilometre was enough to outsmart eight other escapees. He succeeded Colombian Alvaro Hodeg on the list of winners.
With a number of shining names at the start, the organisation could count on a top-class field of participants. In the end our team chose to ride the GP Vermarc. Six of our riders came to the start, two riders (Enrico Dhaeye and Thibaut Ponsaerts) were part of the Cycling Flanders selection. A large group was able to take a lead early in the race. Bit by bit the group was thinned out with the stronger riders that remained. Thimo was one of the last riders to catch them on a steep hill: "It was a real battle of attrition because of the heat."
With nine riders they dived into the final with, among others, two riders of Lotto-Soudal represented. All attempts to attack were parried and so nine riders went to the finish. However, our man from Jette had already thought of a plan: "I had seen the round before that I could try something on that little bridge, it was all or nothing...".
And so it happened, with an ultimate attack attempt he went solo under the railing. There was enough doubt in the chasing group to prevent them from catching him.
A nice change after Thimo said he had been chasing the facts for the last two years...
The victory gesture was symbolic. "I had a close relationship with Filip Carpentier who worked hard for twenty years and built Minerva into a top company. He enjoyed his cycling team. We were in contact every two days. This victory is also one for my late team boss. Filip still had big plans. His wife and her partners now run the company and the team. The atmosphere in the team is fantastic. We stick together very strongly."