Koch, who found himself just behind the crash when it happened with 600 meters to go, safely navigated his way through the chaos before showing some solid form as he sprinted to the line behind the eventual winner, Dries De Bondt (Correndon – Circus).
Earlier in the race, the German rider was one of the first to attack after the early breakaway, which was kept on a tight leash by the peloton, was caught and it was from this points, with less than 70 kilometers to go, that the race really started.
CCC Team remained attentive over the remaining local laps with Koch and Paweł Bernas continuing to follow the attacks from the bunch, which was started to dwindle in numbers under the pressure being applied at the front.
With the Hellestraat and Tiegemberg climbs to tackle on all four laps of the 18-kilometer long circuit, it was a tough ask for any group of riders to go clear and in the end, a reduced bunch, including Koch, Bernas, and Gijs Van Hoecke, headed into the final 10 kilometers ready for the likely bunch sprint.
Koch’s top ten result at the Belgian one-day race comes just before the start of a string of National Championships for the majority of CCC Team’s European riders, starting with the Belgian, Czech and Portuguese Time Trial Championships tomorrow (27 June).
Quotes From the Finish Line:
“I felt today really good and I have recovered from a tough week at the Criterium du Dauphine. I was really happy to get a hard race like today in my legs as I look towards the German National Road Race on Sunday, which I am really focused on.”
“I had the legs to move up and attack a few times and I was able to go in some of the important late moves but, in the final, I didn’t have the best legs because I had invested a lot earlier but I was still able to get seventh place which is still a nice result ahead of Sunday’s race.”
Halle – Ingooigem
One-day race: Halle – Ingooigem (200.9km)
Top 3: 1. Dries De Bondt (Correndon – Circus) 2. Piotr Havik (BEAT Cycling Club) 3. Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck – Quickstep)
CCC Team Top 3: 7. Jonas Koch 24. Paweł Bernas 35. Gijs Van Hoecke