Earlier in the day, a six-rider breakaway was able to extend an advantage of around five minutes after 50 kilometers, of the 200.3-kilometer long course, which included six cobbled sectors and five climbs.
CCC Team sat comfortably in the peloton behind the leaders before, on the day’s toughest climb, the Kemmelberg, with 115 kilometers to go, the pace began to pick up and another group, this time made up of five riders, jumped off the front of the bunch.
At the 70-kilometer to go mark, the attackers had been reeled in by the peloton which was continuing to close in on the breakaway with the gap falling to inside two minutes, 30 kilometers later.
As the bell rang to mark the start of the second of two 25-kilometer long laps around De Panne, the leaders were dangling just one minute off the front of the main bunch, which was continuing to increase the speed with every pedal stroke.
The catch was eventually made by the first part of the peloton with just nine kilometers remaining after gaps opened up following a crash a couple of kilometers earlier.
Six CCC Team riders remained in the front group in the closing stages of the race with the orange and black train moving up to the front to protect the chances of Mareczko with four kilometers to go.
A tricky right-hand corner approaching the flamme rouge saw Mareczko, unfortunately, pushed out of position and when the sprint was eventually launched, he was too far back to fight for the victory.
In the end, it was Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jumbo – Visma) who took the day’s honors while Mareczko was able to move up through the field in the final meters of the race to finish 24th.
Reaction from Inside the Team Car with Sports Director, Valerio Piva:
“Our plan was to wait until the final 15 kilometers of the race to move up to the front and that’s exactly what the guys did. At the moment we arrived at the front, we saw a crash on the left side of the bunch and for us, it was lucky, as we moved up on the right side.”
“We had almost everyone in the front group of fifty riders and then, with three kilometers to go, on a tricky section, we came up to the front to work for the predicted bunch sprint with Mareczko. We were in an almost perfect position until just over one kilometer to go but here there was a really dangerous corner and Mareczko and Sajnok lost their place.”
“We didn’t finish the day with a top ten position but we were once again fighting and riding against the best sprinters in the world. We obviously don’t have a good result to show from the effort of the guys but I can say, that if we continue to work like this, then we will have some nice results in the next races.
“Some of these guys will stay in Belgium now and I am encouraged by how they raced. The condition of everyone is good so we are happy that today, the team looked strong and that they are in good health.”
Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne
One-day race: Brugge > De Panne (200.3k)
Top 3: 1. Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jumbo – Visma) 2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE – Team Emirates) 3. Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step)
CCC Team Top 3: 24. Jakub Mareczko 27. Kamil Gradek 35. Jonas Koch