Wellens wins Brabantse Pijl as tragic Goolaerts honoured

AFP
Team-mates of fallen Belgian cyclist Michael Goolaerts observe an emotional minute's silence before the Brabantse Pijl one-day classic (AFP Photo/DAVID STOCKMAN)

Team-mates of fallen Belgian cyclist Michael Goolaerts observe an emotional minute's silence before the Brabantse Pijl one-day classic

Team-mates of fallen Belgian cyclist Michael Goolaerts observe an emotional minute's silence before the Brabantse Pijl one-day classic (AFP Photo/DAVID STOCKMAN)

Brussels (Belgium) (AFP) - Tim Wellens won the 58th edition of the Brabantse Pijl one-day classic in Belgium on Wednesday after launching a late solo attack to beat defending champion Sonny Colbrelli.

A minute's silence was observed before the start of the race in Leuven in memory of Michael Goolaerts, the 23-year-old Belgian cyclist who died following a heart attack during Sunday's Paris-Roubaix.

Wellens, fifth at last month's Paris-Nice, attacked eight kilometres from the finish and held off what was left of the chasing peloton before raising his right index finger towards the sky, in honour of his fallen compatriot Goolaerts.

It was the fourth victory of the year for Lotto-Soudal's Wellens, following two stage wins at the Tour of Andalusia and his triumph at the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana in Mallorca.

The 26-year-old will try to add to that list at the upcoming Ardennes classics, starting with Sunday's Amstel Gold Race and then followed by Fleche Wallonne on April 18 and Liege-Bastogne-Liege four days later.

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