Fabio Jakobsen beats Ewan and Merlier in Euro Shop Eleven Cities Round

Fabio Jakobsen beats Ewan and Merlier in Euro Shop Eleven Cities Round

Sunday 12 June 2022 at 18:30

Fabio Jakobsen has won the Euro Shop Eleven Cities Round 2022. The Dutchman from Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl was too fast for Caleb Ewan and Tim Merlier after a race of more than 190 kilometers, in a sprint.

The Exterioo Cycling Cup continued today with the Euro Shop Eleven Cities Round, the ninth round in the regularity classification. A sprinter’s party was planned with start and finish in Bruges, where the winner of the Euro Shop Eleven Cities Round 2022 was honored. But before the winner was welcomed, the riders first had to cover more than 190 kilometers in and around Bruges. The race consisted of a long loop, followed by six passes on a local 16-kilometer lap. The organization decided to send the peloton over the necessary cobblestone sections, in order to create some spectacle.

Early flight hardly gets any space
Three Belgians and a Briton decided to attack early in this Eleven Cities Round. The peloton gave them a free pass and so Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Louis Blouwe (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Kobe Vanoverschelde (Tarteletto-Isorex) and Reece Wood (WiV SunGod) were the center of the race for a long time. However, the four front runners were caught halfway through the race, as the peloton continued strongly. It caused the necessary nervousness, breaks in the peloton and a few crashes, but after a while calm returned, resulting in a regrouping.

On Damme territory, several riders tried to get rid of it. For example, we saw Taco van der Hoorn, the winner of the past Brussels Cycling Classic, on the attack. However, the Dutch speed rider of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert was given little space and was soon swallowed by the big suit, just like his escape companions Lionel Taminiaux and Robert Scott. That happened at about twenty kilometers from the finish: everything seemed to point to a bunch sprint. In the last twenty kilometers we saw some attacking attempts, but the control of the sprinter teams turned out to be too great.

Jakobsen decides sprint duel in his favor
And so we could prepare for the (predicted) bunch sprint, because the difference was not made on the cobblestones of the Brieversweg either. Sven Erik Bystrøm was still out to thwart the sprinters’ plans in the last kilometers, but the attack by the Norwegian of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert didn’t amount to much. With more than two kilometers to go, Bystrøm was caught up again and the preparation for the sprint could really start. Due to the high tempo in the final phase, the peloton was pulled on a ribbon. Israel-Premier Tech tried to pilot Giacomo Nizzolo as best he could.

photo: Cor Vos

However, the Israeli formation took the lead too early and was outflanked by the other sprint teams. Still, no team really managed to keep the upper hand in the last kilometer, which resulted in a chaotic sprint. Jakobsen certainly didn’t get the lead-out he had dreamed of on the Buiten Kruisvest, but he still started the sprint in an ideal position. The Dutchman managed to break free with a few powerful pedal strokes and in the last meters to keep the emerging Ewan and Merlier away from him. With Jakobsen, Ewan and Merlier, the organization got a stage to dream of.