Baska Wins Handzame Classic

Kev Monks19 Mar 2016 09:12

Tinkoff's stagaire Erik Baska has won the Handzame Classic race in Belgium.

This 199km race, the second in the Napoleon Cup Series, started on the Belgian coast at Bredene and ended with three laps of fifteen kilometres around Handzame on a grey day.

After twenty kilometres in a race which featured Team Sky, Team Wiggins and One Pro Cycling , four riders tried to get away but were soon caught before there was a crash which took down a number of riders and allowed two riders in Tom Devriendt and Gijs Van Hoecke to get away and take a lead of 3.05 after 62kms.

With eighty kilometres to go and the peloton had reeled in the duo and a new seven man break took over, taking a lead of 57 seconds with 51kms left.

Jonas Rickaert of Topsport was in that group of seven with Danny Patten of Team Wiggins and he took the points on the climb with just over forty kilometres left.

One Pro Cycling's Marcin Bialoblocki took off with just over twenty five kilometres to go and took a 21 second lead going into the final twenty kilometres.

That was down to eighteen seconds when the peloton rumbled over the finish line with a lap to go and with 11.5kms to go, Bialoblocki was caught.

Gazprom and Etixx Quick Step were on the front before Matthias Krizek went away with just over two kilometers left.

He was caught as Lotto Soudal and LottoNL-Jumbo joined the fun on the front.

It came down to a sprint and Erik Baska got round Dylan Gronewegen to take the win in 4.29.00 ahead of Gronewegen and Gianni Meersman of Etixx Quick Step.

"Thank you to my team for my big chance and my team mates for an incredible job," said the Slovakian Baska. "My team brought me up with 500 metres to go and I was in a good position for the sprint."